Category Archives: LEADERSHIP – ALWAYS!
As leaders… no matter the leadership role you assume… it is necessary to delegate/assign certain projects or duties to individuals or possibly a group. In this process it is understood that as the leader and delegator… you share your list of expectations of project completion and areas of success. It all sounds so simple… right?
But what happens when those given the assignment take an “innovation turn” and go a non-traditional route for completion? As might be expected… the results are not exactly what was planned but a great deal of learning and project alternative discoveries were reported? Given the unplanned changes, where do your instincts as a leader take you and what form of appropriate “next-step” action(s) do YOU take?
As you answer this question… I suggest the first thing you must do is ask yourself: Am I an EXPECTATION MONITOR? Do I monitor the individual or group and measure them against the way I would have completed the project? Do I evaluate their results solely against MY EXPECTATIONS of positive outcomes?
In response to this question, I need to brag that some of my greatest experiences as a leader came from making wide-open project assignments that had equally wide-open results. Individuals were challenged to be innovative and share creative visions of assignment completion. Most importantly the assigned project no longer was just MY priority… rather it was “owned” by all involved in its development and delivery.
Bottomline: It is critical to consider your priorities and if you truly believe in innovation at all organizational levels… you cannot be an EXPECTATION MONITOR. Why… because an EXPECTATION MONITOR will:
- Crush innovations
- Limit group contributions
- Lessen individual participation
- Lower agency trust
- Confirm a negative “I’ll do it myself” mentality
I guess I am encouraging you to enjoy the privilege of delegating and trust the existence of an innovative spirit!
One of my personal Inspiring Innovations, Inc. business priorities is to NEVER deliver service “reruns” to different individuals or organizations. What do I mean? I mean every consultant moment, workshop and/or training must be special and individualized for everyone. However, this week I may be breaking my rule.
Let me explain.
During my Director days I produced a TOP 10 list of Agency work/service priorities for every upcoming week. The TOP 10 could cover new projects, meetings, joint ventures, fiscal reports… anything and everything! It was a great management tool and kept everyone “in the game” of Agency initiatives and always looking toward the future!
Then after 30 years of progressive, creative and fun leadership… I found myself leaving to do Inspiring Innovations, Inc. activities full time… and without being too sentimental I had to put together my last TOP 10 for my co-workers. And only because of sincere requests for a reminder rerun, here it is.
- ACTION: Be leaders everyday… I expect nothing less. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: The road going forward for the Agency is set up to the best of my ability… pave it with good work. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Follow the visionary quote that says: “The best way to predict the future… is to invent it.” ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Keep a “family-feel” in the organization… it keeps you grounded. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: When you finally see a USDOL Performance Standard called INNOVATIVITY… be sure we score high. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Always know I will take ALL of you with me wherever I go and whatever I do… because no one goes it alone. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: When you try a new initiative, don’t do it the way Marv would… DO IT BECAUSE WE WOULD! ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Remember to always give 100% to the CAUSE. If you don’t… what are you saving the rest for? ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: If you try to hide from change… know that it will be much bigger when it finds you. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Thirty years is a long time to be lucky… thank you for allowing me to be the lucky one. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
Thanks to everyone for seven (7) years of TRIPLE III TIME blog messaging. Enjoy the holidays.
Today I believe a leadership group getting together regularly and focusing on: In Search of Customers Lost, would prove to be valuable on so many fronts. Think about it. The group could/should look at an entity’s physical presence, marketing strategies, product/service diversity, regular/online sales, delivery methods, costs and timing issues…to somehow reclaim old and new customers.
Also during the leadership group sessions, it would be appropriate to ask a unique series of: In Search of Customers Lost questions:
- Are we disconnected with those in need of our products/services?
- Is accessibility to our products/services THE issue… or are we just assuming it is?
- Given the times do people really know what our main products/services are?
- Have we decided to just wait for improved times… and thereby really don’t feel the need to act?
- Is it leadership acceptable to have our products/services become less than essential?
- Are potential customers “relabeling” our entity in an inaccurate way?
- Could there be a means to create “strings of compatibility” among our products/sources to make them more special?
- How much work ethic, creativity, and skill personnel equity are we losing/wasting?
- Should we somehow go In Search of Customers Lost … and find out who they are, where they are and why they are a lost customer?
- And lastly, aren’t we all some form of leader in our company/organization… and comprehensively concerned about In Search of Customers Lost ?
Yes, if you counted, these are my TOP 10 In Search of Customers Lost questions. They are not easy, they do not allow for “hiding spots” … but they do ask you to accept some form/level of LEADERSHIP in devising necessary answers.
The topic of leadership truly generates a wide array of viewpoints, suggestions, historical examples, and assessments with regard to quality and style. Additionally, I believe it is difficult for anyone in a leadership role to accurately and completely explain their own methodology and arrangement to lead effectively. However, as a “case study” for this TRIPLE III TIME message, I would like to have you use a special TOP 10 list of questions to determine if you practice LEADING By Assumption.
- Do you regularly choose to NOT over assign… because you believe your workers can’t handle it?
- Do you move on a leadership issue only after you observe someone else taking action?
- Do you strategically limit input on a problem because of what you might hear?
- Do you NOT take on a new project because you believe it will never work?
- Do you limit the number of new initiatives, new services or new products you purse because you can only count on certain people?
- Do you become overwhelmed because it is your leadership practice to “just do it myself”?
- Do you consider it a successful workday if no challenging issues arose?
- Do you measure staff professional development by the number of years they have been on the job?
- Do you consider waiting until you get more, better information as a regular leadership strategy?
- Do you promote change or be content in knowing that “we have always done it this way”?
Unfortunately, I must report that LEADING By Assumption causes you to only look at where you have been… not where you want… need to grow!! Also, I must report that there are a large number of individuals that are LEADING By Assumption. How about YOU? Honestly, how well did you do on the TOP 10?
First, I want everyone to know that I owe this excellent and timely TRIPLE III TIME message topic to a wonderful private industry leader and super friend. Second, I will leave out his specific position business-related examples… but his leadership points are the key. Finally, as you read this message be sure to stop at certain times and apply the key ideas to your world of work. You will understand why as you do it!
When you are Leading by Influence you assume the role of THE example… not just an example of great leadership. This action includes everything from knowing everyone’s time and role but also maintaining a product/service approach that says, “Let’s see if we can do something even better!” everyday… EVERYDAY!
Next, as issues, problems and concerns arise… Assume Total Accountability and Responsibility. Ducking away from or diverting responsibility as a leader often has a negative ripple-effect among staff and co-workers. Think about it. Will they feel like they can count on you and that you will “have their back” when questions arise? Or will they believe that we are a “team” only when things are good? Or will you have a leader-ish reputation for always “taking the glory” when praise comes around?
Finally, Communication is key to success! As a quality leader never assume you know all the facts about any issue. Allow for open input, ideas, and challenges. And Remember LISTENING is often the greater part of effective communication.
Thank you, R.W. for your Leading by Influence concepts. I know it will help many!
The process for identifying a career area to pursue has followed a similar pattern for a number of years. Research, observation, career consulting and networking have all been contributors to career development. Additionally, with the new era opportunities offered via online access the availability of job information has widened to a level never dreamed of! However, I believe the challenge of deciding what career track to follow has actually become more difficult. The information overload, the speed of job creation, job changes and yes even job eliminations have enabled some who have tremendous world-of-work potential…to become Career Runaways.
Career Runaways are those who often enter a workplace due to convenience or fiscal necessity. And even though you might think I’m talking about todays young adults, let me assure you that Career Runaways are found at every age level. No don’t misunderstand my position! Many Career Runaways are very successful in the jobs or work areas that they are involved in. They have a great work ethic and an excellent company/organization supporting mindset. But are they able to make the professional development impacts that they might with just a little more education, training, opportunity exposures and/or just plain encouragement?
Today more than ever before…I feel that FULL (i.e. FULL TIME + CAPACITY) employment is in some way everyone’s job. Whether it is job coaching a young person, encouraging a friend to just take one class, admitting to co-worker’s failure moments that helped you try harder and/or not being afraid to build a network of colleagues that have professional expectations of your true potential.
Bottomline: Help who and whenever you can. Consider it an opportunity of a lifetime…because you may never know the extended good that you may do.