Archive for the ‘Succession’ category

The One Meeting That Shouldn’t Be Rescheduled

March 3, 2017

A study by a team of scholars from London School of Economics and Harvard Business School analyzed the day-to-day schedules of more than 500 CEOs from around the world and found executives spent roughly 18 hours of a 55-hour workweek in meetings (33%).  The more direct reports a CEO had, the more (and longer) internal meetings they had.

Given all the constraints on a leader’s time, it is understandable how some meetings get rescheduled in favor of higher priority, more important time commitments.  However, the one meeting leaders should not reschedule is a performance review or succession-planning meeting with their direct report.  Direct reports see their performance review or succession-planning meeting as a significant, event often fretting over the meeting for weeks.  Many direct reports lose sleep the night before and are distracted and ineffective at work before the meeting, even when it is a meeting they anticipate will be extremely positive. Unfortunately, some leaders see this important/not urgent meeting as movable, not realizing the disappointment it causes their direct report.

When planning these crucial meetings, leaders should choose times and days of the week they are less likely to have to reschedule.  Monday mornings and Friday afternoons often work best, unless the meeting is not expected to be well received; if the employee is expected to be disappointed or angry following the performance review, always leave time in the day/week for positive personal interaction.  They need to understand the meeting was about business and doesn’t reflect your personal feelings towards them.

Empowered leaders don’t reschedule performance review or succession planning meetings and have a more successful organization.

Celebrate Direct Reports’ Accomplishments

April 29, 2016

If you have children and have sat through one of their graduation ceremonies, you know the mixed feelings you experienced; a mix of joy, sadness, and pride – pride for the accomplishment of the graduate and pride for the contributions you’ve made to the graduate’s success.

Leaders should feel the same pride for their direct reports’ achievements.  If they continuously challenge their direct reports to develop while providing resources and removing obstacles for their success, they should feel deep pleasure and satisfaction.  In fact, the resumes of leaders today will often include the development and accomplishments of their direct reports, as well as their own accomplishments.

Effective leaders empower their direct reports to succeed and revel in their accomplishments.

Start On The Succession Plan Right From The Beginning

September 25, 2015

It may seem strange to think about succession on the direct report’s first day, but there may be no better time.  This is particularly true about the part of succession that makes certain the critical aspects of the direct report’s job functions are documented sufficiently enough for someone else to be able to know HOW to do that aspect of the job.

As a matter of survival from the first day, the new hire will be carefully documenting how to perform their job duties for their own use so that steps are not missed and repetitive questions can be avoided.  After the direct report has successfully completed these functions based on their own notes, they can simply take those notes and formalize them into a succession plan for the job.

This documentation can then be used for cross-training and development purposes of co-workers who may be groomed for performing those very tasks at a later date.  The leader also communicates to the new direct report they anticipate their continued growth in the organization; preparing for someone at a later date to perform those tasks will allow for time and opportunity to learn new tasks of their own.

If the leader waits until someone is well ensconced in a role, the detail with which they document tasks may not be of sufficient detail to allow others to complete the tasks without personal observation or some trial and error.

Direct reports empowered for their own development by documenting critical tasks that may be done by others in (or outside of) the organization will be more successful.