10 dimensions every leader must excel in
The following are the 10 questions/dimensions you can measure yourself on
Do you talk about excellence everyday?
- Frame an excellence policy. This could be the mission statement, the vision statement of just simple a statement of excellence.
discuss everyday in the briefing, put it on the notice board, make small handouts, create pocket inserts.
- Acknowledge any activity/task that your team performed towards the excellence policy
- Start a reward system purely for excellence.
- make excellence a parameter on the Key Result Areas
- put up a motivational quote/poster on the notice board.
- share an industry/competition excellence story/anecdote
- make people dream 'scenarios' where they created excellence in their daily work. applaud the thought. then create an action plan to make it happen
- create a master list of 'moments of excellence'
- create a role model
- get an outside consultant to do a one day/half-a-day session on excellence
- share videos on excellence
- Paste your commitment everywhere!
Do you ensure every team member is hand picked?
To be fair, its not just about ensuring that you are part of every hiring decision or that you are present to personally meet every new joinee. These are critical but I believe its a bit more than that.
- define your 'team member'
do this in as much detail as possible. exp, education, language, skill set, anything else that you feel is required to succeed in your setup.
- involve your people into the hiring decision
let the ones who will work with the new member have a say in it. Its not complete democracy, but if you get a buy in from them, the process of integration would be far more smoother.
- find out everything you can, before you hire.
use social networking sites, consultants, current team members, any and all sources, but try and find out as much as you can.
- give as much information as possible to the potential hire.
- dont window dress your company, the position or the role
- create a template of questions/interview techniques that you will use with everyone. let there be some standard testing.
- test for all the skills you deem important and necessary.
- take personal assurances regarding work ethics and commitment
Do you spend time with every team member in detailing her role/contribution to the overall goal?
Each one of the questions/dimensions are important, but this one seems to stand out as something that is so obvious, common sensical and yet missing from many a manager's to-do list.
I think it should be made a mandatory part of the 'induction process'
Everyone should know what is it that they do, how is it that it adds value and what is it that they are contributing to. the bigger goal, the larger vision so to speak.
- Create a JD for every position
- with every JD create a section that details how that position adds on to the larger objective the department, the division & the company is fulfilling.
- List the importance and maybe go a step further and create a scenario about what would happen if that individual did not perform.
Most importantly, create a time, space and ensure you go over each part of the Job Description with your team member
Do you ensure each team member feels valued?
So many things to do here.
- talk to each
- say 'good morning'
- ask how they doing
- call the family to let them know they are working late
- call the family to let them know they are doing great
- believe them when they call in sick
- offer to share the work load
- applaud success
- find them doing something right
- reprimand in private
- have lunch sometimes with them
- put up their name for rewards
- ensure they get the credit
- stand up for them
Do you ensure each team member shares the reward?
Ah. I think the question goes beyond the obvious financial one, but that is important.
What is the mechanism to share the reward?
are the parameters known before the task begins or are created based on the reward quantum?
is the method objective, fair?
can the collective team disburse the reward for a higher good?
do you have built-in measures for exceptional performance or 'beyond-the-call-of-duty' rewards?
What about the non-monetary rewards?
The acknowledgements, the praise, the standing ovation, the glory?
Do you take it all?
Do you create platforms for the best in your team to come and share the glory?
Do your bosses know your key players?
Do you work alongside with your team members?
the best ones get their hands dirty. they fold their shirt sleeves and heave when the entire crew is just that close to the goal and needs just a little bit more.
working alongside, packaging, marketing, making sales calls, handling difficult customers, cleaning the office , anything is a big boost!
poeple do remember the kind words, the little gestures, but legendary stories of managers come from incidents when they were one-of-us!
a 5-star leader wouldn't think twice about it.
work alongside your team.
DO you have formal/informal listening sessions?
The formal ones
- structure time
- make sure there are no interruptions
- make sure there has been enough time to prepare for both parties
- ensure the time between two sessions is mapped
- ensure everyone is covered
- take notes
- give feedback
- if you can, do something. if you can't, let them know.
The informal ones
the informal listening sessions are probably the ones where you will pick up more non-verbal cues than the formal ones.
in the hall, at lunch, at a staff party, the gym. it could be anywhere.
Just two inputs here:
1. be willing to listen
2. be willing to stop when it turns gossipy!
Do you encourage & accept feedback?
You might think the listening sessions are enough, but I beg to differ.
feedback could be structured or unstructured
feedback could be individual or group
feedback could be about you, your job, your decisions, the company or anything in between
feedback could be verbal, written
feedback could be internal or external
feedback could be managed by self or out-sourced
feedback could be face-to-face or anonymous
the feedback should have two attributes at the minimum:
- it should ask about what is important to the people
- it should ask about things you can do something about
feedback for the sake of feedback is useless
Do you delegate?
most brilliant people can do everything brilliantly if only they had the time.
but you dont.
so, brilliant as you are, you will be left with a lot to do, that you will never be able to do, just coz you dont have another 24 hours, everyday.
find out the tasks that you do not enjoy, think someone else could do just as well, or just a little less and start delegating.
that is a start.
but if I could persuade you to, I would suggest you take a different approach.
find out, hunt for people better than you at things you do everyday and then delegate.
it is so much better!
Do you take the final responsibility for all your team actions?
the buck stops with you.
pointing fingers at your sibling went with the wind as soon as you embarked on your corporate journey.
there is no two about it.
if you are not 100% behind your team, they wont be either!