Monday, May 9, 2011

Positioning For the Future Growth - Part #2

Picking up where we left off last Monday, 5-2-11, there are more key steps to positioning an organization for future growth.

First, evaluate your key people and deal with your problem ones. To this day, it continues to surprise me how many leaders are not willing to deal with their problem people. They love to complain about them, but few have the fortitude to actually deal with their problem people.

When they ask me what to do about these people, I always ask them the same questions: Do you have confidence in them? Do you have confidence in the way they make decisions? Do you have confidence in the way they role model? The answer is either “yes” or “no.” A “maybe” is always a “no.” Dion Williams, Executive Director of Systems Unlimited told me he asks one additional question: Do you have confidence in the way they learn? Key people must make decisions, role model and learn. If there is any question in these three areas, then it is time to sit down with an HR professional and discuss how to proceed.

Second, implement more rigorous coaching. Too many times, coaching sessions end up being a waste of time and mostly focused on random gossip or a place where problems are managed up to be fixed. As I politely reminded a CEO earlier this winter, during coaching sessions you need to remember to ask yourself this question: “Who owns the monkey?” A coaching session is not a time for a direct report to transfer ownership of issues or challenges and put it on your back.

Third, better define your cascading messages. At the end of every meeting, ask the simple but powerful question: “What do we want people to remember and share with others after this meeting?” Remember: everything you say will be corrupted when it is cascaded. Therefore, make sure you clearly define the essence of your core message so others share it in a timely and accurate manner.

There are days we get so busy that we forget that people need to be lead and they need to be managed. Right now so many executives are under leading their organizations. They do not describe the future vividly and precisely, and they do create enough clarity about what should be cascaded and when.

Furthermore, we also are experiencing very poor management in many organizations. Let us remember that all leadership without healthy management is a disaster in the making. Successful organizations have both great strategic leadership and exceptional operational management.

This week, if you want to position your organization for the future, consider firing yourself on Friday and then rehiring yourself on Monday. Then, look at everything with fresh eyes. You may be surprised by what you discover.

Geery Howe, M.A.Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer inLeadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational ChangeMorning Star Associates319 - 643 - 2257

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