Depending on the news you hear, it may seem like this economy is still going downhill, or perhaps the bottom has finally been reached. But either way, there’s no doubt that more organizations are going to fail before we’re truly moving continually forward again.
However, while many organizations struggle, there are still great success stories out there. Leaders who see opportunities where others see roadblocks generally lead those operations. Not coincidently, their teams are usually both more positive and more productive then competitors.’
Become a small picture kind of boss – While it’s critical that you help everyone understand the overall goals and objectives of the organization; don’t forget that the best leaders will also bring those goals down to the smallest details of individual jobs. Learn to help everyone, at every level, understand how his or her specific contribution can make the whole organization more successful.
Improve the preparation for hiring new players – Most organizations do really crappy interviewing. Many who interview potential new hires admit to not being well prepared. They say they figured someone else in the process would have done much better. Now more than ever, it’s important that anyone joining your organization is well screened and the best fit for the opening. HR studies show that 60% of new hires fail in the first 12 months.
Develop your memory – Do you know name of each of your team members? The best leaders remember names, job roles, hobbies, partner’s names, and more. Watching them go through a series of meetings, it can be amazing just how good their memories are. And it pays off – people work harder for those who care enough to remember personal things about them.
Learn these words: “I made a mistake” – And then say them as required. When you are confident enough to admit your screw-ups, it’s a great signal to team members that you are real and that you get it. This encourages them to be just as honest, reducing the fudging and BS so prevalent in many organizations. This makes it less likely that you’ll get one of those surprises that cause people to reach for purple pills in the top left hand drawer.
Track how you spend your time – The finest managers spend their time where the best payoff is likely to come. However, many leaders, despite their best intentions, spend too much of their time on problems or dealing with problem people. To see how you’re doing, I suggest that you regularly take out your calendar and review how much of your time you spent with what and who. If you see a pattern in your behavior – like too much time dealing with the whiny guy who always has troubles in his department and not with the positive individual who always delivers on her commitments – make some changes to your time management.
Don’t demi-task – Do you listen 100 percent of the time or are you usually mentally engaged in several things at once? Top dogs know that nobody can multitask effectively over the long haul. They’ve figured out how to focus with laser-like precision. And their team members come to know that their boss is really hot and can’t be bluffed. This makes the team better at being clear and precise in their communications to you. Saves both time and energy for everyone.
Celebrate success – Whining doesn’t create change. Managing by berating is counterproductive. Even in downtimes, you can probably find something that’s doing well – cite it during your meetings or in emails. And name the responsible individuals. What you choose to focus on gets the most attention from others on your team. When you celebrate the little wins, you encourage more of the same behavior from others. And soon, you’ll have bigger things to celebrate.