I did not have time to finish the work you gave me because Mary had given me this project, and she told me it was critical.
I have been trying to find your answers, but Joe has me working on some stuff for him.
I could not make it to the meeting; I was involved with Rebecca and the new software rollout.
All three of these situations could be happening in your organization, and you might not even notice. Highly skilled and valuable people are working hard, but someone somehow has got them working on the wrong stuff. So, the critical stuff never gets done.
The problem is not the worker; it is the leader. The leader does not seem to understand the priority that is supposed to be followed, or perhaps, no leader has laid it out for them. Or perhaps that is how it is at your company?
In the first case, the worker was assigned a project that you felt was critical, but another came and channeled the resource to another project. It might have been more important or might not have been.
In case two, you needed some answers, but Joe diverted your resource to another project.
In the final case, we have people who should be attending a critical meeting and making the decisions that needed to be made but found themselves missing the meeting.
So, what should a leader do?
What is that?
The above are just examples of the leadership not setting the direction and priority. I see it all over in companies, big and small.
So, how can we fix this issue and move forward? Today we have decided to tackle this issue with 3 methods to help you be a better and stronger leader in your organization.
Yes, you can!
1. Define who your team is to listen to and what they are to do when they encounter an issue.
We have all been there. The higher boss tells us to do something that takes us from our work for our boss, and we do it because he or she is higher in the food chain.
In the first case, we need to educate both the worker and the leader because both are off-target.
Taking the leader first. If you are going to take resources, you have to clear it with the person this resource is working for. It doesn’t matter if you are the boss. What matters is that leadership does what is right. So often, we do not want to operate by humbly making requests; I am the boss, after all.
I would be happy to give you the resource and have someone else do this person’s job rather than find out that it was not done down the road.
The worker should also have come to his/her boss and told them what was happening. It would put the supervisor in a much better position to make the call to the boss.
2/ Communicate the priority of what you assign in relationship to what your team player has.
What is the priority of the work? How does the worker know what comes first, second, and so on? When workers are continually bombarded with more and more stuff, they lose the concept of what is most important. You, as the leader, must always assign a priority.
No, everything is not the most important.
When you are given an assignment, you need to ask right up front, “where does this rank with the work that I am already doing.”
Leaders need to help their workers focus on the right stuff, not drive them crazy trying to figure it out without any concept of what is most important.
3/ If you set a meeting, make sure you need a meeting.
We are all tired of attending all those meetings. One after another after another. When can I get some of the work I have been assigned done?
I have been working on some new SOPs recently on meetings. One of the things we came up with is that all meetings should be;
A/ 25 or 50 minutes long.
B/ Meetings are for making decisions, any data sharing can be done via email.
C/ If you cannot make it to the meeting, you need to connect with the person holding the meeting.
D/ If you can get what you need without a meeting, do it.
But remember, without you at a called meeting, the meeting may or may not have to be canceled. It may be for your purpose or help.
A key to remember is that the fewer meetings you have, the better your meetings will be.
Three simple things. There are many more but let us start with these and get them working. As a leader, it is your job to lead, not to bark out orders without regard to what is really going on. Get to know your people, their skills and abilities, and how best you can utilize them. This is all part of being a great leader.
Looking for some help?
Need to get yourself or your team to a new level of success?
Please connect with us and let us introduce “Covert Leadership Training” to you.
Covert Leadership addresses these issues and so much more.
Never forget that to be a great leader, you have to:
1/ Develop yourself into the best.
2/ Develop your team into the best.
3/ Win consistently.
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