I’m a big fan of sausages. As this is Italian, sausage, chorizo, kielbasa, or andouille, I like the seasoning and the snap-in of the box when you bite. Now, I know that what goes into the sausage is the most undesirable parts of the animal, including organs, viscera, head, and other parts that I prefer not to think about it. I’ve never had the opportunity to see the sausage made, and as a matter of principle; I don’t want to because I know that I would be disgusted and that would ruin my appetite every time I enjoyed a banger. I chose to stay blissfully ignorant about the sausage-making.
In regards leadership, I have seen a lot of leaders who are able to do things, but the process in which they do it, it’s ugly. The final result may be positive, but how they got there was full of unnecessary stress, drama, recovery, and wasted energy along the way. In fact, I’ve even seen some leaders who prosper on the chaos; working around the clock, napping in a sleeping bag in the office, surviving on coffee, Cheetos, and Coke. With a successful delivery, the leader in rewards and is rewarded for their delivery to heroism and sacrifice. Now, sometimes, it is really a need for the participants in a well-planned and the execution of the project, burning the midnight oil. This is not these situations that I’m talking about; it is when the leader fails to deliberately plan and execute the work, resulting in a loss of energy, loss of productivity, and to mitigate it. Let me be very clear on this: It is not enough to consistently deliver results, but leave a trail of corpses in your wake; you need to deliver the results through deliberate planning and execution. Now, it could be that the planning should be done simultaneously with some run; I’ve certainly done that when having to work to tight appointment on the date of my direction. When someone tells me, “Well, we’ve done it”, I ask, “your team follow you into battle again?” The answer to this question is a direct reflection on the leader’s ability to deliberately plan and execute the work. I’d like someone to challenge me on this.
Are you a leader who gets things done, but creates unnecessary friction with your team, manager, or stakeholders? Give these four tips a look to help you be a leader that runs without the drama and stress:
- Deliberately plan of work in this and that/which/when the format – When you schedule the work to be done, be specific on what needs to be done and who should do it (no assignments to “the team”), and when it must be done (no “asap” or “tbd”). If there is a tangible work product that is associated with the ec, to ensure clarity as to what the work product should include.
- Empower wherever you can – I wrote a book and an article on what I call Intentional Empowerment, which describes the four steps clear on what a leader must do to create empowered followers. Empowering your team not only allows to do; it also creates a happier and more productive workforce.
- Establish a clear communication of the rate – Develop a communication plan for team members, your manager, and stakeholders to keep them informed of the progress made and to minimize disruptions of work due to confusion or misalignment of work. Be clear on what is shared, its frequency and the mode (e-mail, meeting, etc) the communication occurs.
- Be available and responsive to requests for assistance – Things happen which may have an anticipated impact of the work, delivery dates, or of the participation of key members of the team or stakeholders. They are questions of (something bad happening today and must be dealt with), or risk (something you want to avoid come true), your job is to be there to help the team when they can’t solve something on their own.
A leader who makes things happen, without regard for the chaos he or she creates along the way not to be a leader for a long time. Be a leader who deliberately plans and executes them and you can establish a reputation of someone, people will want to to follow.