Understanding the difference between leadership and management as well as the requirements of each of these functions is essential to both stability and growth.
Leading, Managing, Mentoring
Whether your responsibilities are leading, managing or both, there are but a few critical elements that require focus, actually, continuous focus. Insuring all employees, regardless of their level of responsibilities or position within your organizational structure, understand what is expected of them is essential. Much the same as plans you develop, expectations change based upon internal and external influences and results attained. Making sure your folks know what's changed not only allows them to fulfill their responsibilities, it also continues to reinforce they are part of 'the team.' Also essential is insuring your employees know how they're doing. Communicating at that level not only creates a learning environment for both parties, it provides the opportunity to make corrections and maintain forward movement.
It takes a tremendous amount of effort to do the right job leading, managing and coaching employees. It takes ten times that effort if you do a poor job.
To move the business forward, knowing the skill sets present in current management and staff will permit the Company to allocate and position the right resources in the right place to generate the greatest return possible. Conversely, without this knowledge, moving forward positively is made more difficult on an almost daily basis.
As long as they pass a reasonability test, setting expectations high and stretching your employees will produce the best results. People do tend to rise to the occasion, particularly if they are sufficiently involved and understand the importance to the business, and therefore to themselves.
Setting high expectations that can be met is the right direction and tone for the business. However, the Company must be prepared to INSPECT what it EXPECTS and build the proper systems to both measure results and reward or penalize accordingly.
Knowing who your high potential employees are can accelerate the Company's growth. Those with truly 'more to give' should be considered for significantly more responsibilities, almost to the point of the quantity becoming a burden. Then coach them to succeed while allowing them, in instances you control, to fail as well. Though requiring greater effort on management's part initially, the results should be outstanding.
An obvious recurring theme is communication. Good communication takes the organization a long way toward achieving its goals while poor communication can sabotage any efforts to succeed. Answer all questions with brutal honesty, yet do not commit to answering all questions. Share the good with the bad and you'll be rewarded by more knowledgeable employees who care more about the organization.
Sharing information to make everyone 'part of the team' is always useful. To maintain positive thrust in what will be difficult, stressful times, each success, no matter how small, will create greater enthusiasm to pursue the goals and objectives. Generate more participation by seeking ideas, suggestions from all concerned and then provide small rewards and recognition which will maintain the focus of all individuals.
Remember, the competitors you face in the market place want to take food from your table. They are the enemy. To combat these forces, an us vs. them mentality goes a long way. It doesn't matter who 'them' is, as long as it's not each other. This type of focus must be external rather than internal. It will build a team rather than just working with a bunch of individuals.
Recognize that what has happened before has gotten you into the present situation. Plus, it cannot be changed. Insist EVERYONE leave their baggage outside the door each day they come to work. While you can learn from history as noted by all the areas where knowledge is a major tool toward success, looking back is dangerous and impedes growth.
An ongoing process to sustain any growth must be the creation of a culture that accepts and even demands accountability. Whether setting and communicating expectations, establishing clear and attainable goals, establishing measurement systems that focus on meaningful results, recognizing performance and penalizing non-performance, Company culture is everyone's responsibility. Leadership must set the tone and direction and management must insure everyone understands and acts accordingly.
Without communications there is no possible way to create a team or have everyone pulling in the same direction. Sounds pretty basic but you'd be amazed how often it is either overlooked, or not practiced. Let us help you open the lines of communication and work it to the Company's best advantage. Contact Us