Leaders need to define the work
Most employees show up to work each day with a desire or intent to do a good job. In my experience, it is rare that members of a team show up wanting to do poorly. (At least consciously, but that’s another article.)
But there are plenty of poor performers and even more average performers who aren’t improving and increasing the value of their contribution. So what accounts for this? If you want the answer, look up. Look directly up to the person who is managing them. Then follow that line straight to the person managing the manager. That’s where you will likely find the accountability.
When people in an organization aren’t doing what you expect of them, and as a result, not getting the job done effectively, it’s very likely that leaders have done a poor job of defining the work to be done. Defining the work means being explicitly clear about the expectations for the job you want others to do.
- Defining what success looks like for a given role.
- Establishing the specifics in terms of desired behaviors and actions.
- Creating boundaries for decisions that influence the work.
- Recognizing exemplary performance in both activity and outcome, not only results.
- Reinforcing actions that are essential for high achievement.
When people on our teams aren’t carrying out their jobs in the way we hoped they would, sometimes they lack the skills or requisite knowledge to do so. And yes, on occasion you’ll find an active saboteur. More often than not you’ll find that it’s a result of leaders not taking the time to define the work. Done well, and linked to the strategy of the business, it’s an amazing recipe to drive high performance from a team.
I’ll be leading an event on May 10th, 2016 called How Leaders Improve Performance and Drive Results, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. If you are interested in attending please let me know with a reply to this email.
How Leaders Improve Performance and Drive Results
Join us and learn from Scott:
- The 4 approaches leaders use to consistently exceed performance targets
- Creating a culture where innovation thrives
- Establish yourself as a leader who develops other leaders
- Accelerate profitable revenue growth
- Enhance your unique value as a leader
- Breakfast and refreshments
- Reprint of Scott K. Edinger’s Harvard Business Review article, Making Yourself Indispensable
- Copy of Scott K. Edinger’s Washington Post Bestseller The Hidden Leader: Discover and Develop Greatness Within Your Company
Click here for additional details
Of course, this will be easier to attend for those of you in the Tampa Bay area, but if you are not local, and would like to attend, we’d love to see you here.
A Slice of Life Balance
That extra day you’ve been asking for to catch up? You got it. Yesterday. Actually, we all got it because we received an additional day in 2016 on February 29th. I bet that, like me, you don’t feel as “caught up” as you expected to be. The reason you don’t feel that sense of relief you anticipated with a full 24 hours given to you, is because what you’ve been asking for-more time-isn’t what you really needed. What we all need, is to be more vigilant about how we use our time. Ask yourself how much time you spend on things that aren’t enriching you or helping advance what’s most important to you? Obsessively checking email instead of doing thoughtful work, multi-tasking versus doing something important well, or scanning social media when taking a break to get fresh air would have truly refreshed you. I want the extra time to, but we’ve already gotten it. So let’s use it in a way that reflects our real needs.
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