Spring Time and Slowing Economy

| June 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

Are Ideal Reasons for Game Changing Leadership!
By Phil Lee

Economic stagnation calls for changes in the way we have been doing business. It’s also; a natural season for spring cleaning and planting. Consider both realities as cover to “lead change together.”

The benchmark small businesses, major corporations, and not for profit organizations regularly ask the tough questions that cause change. Change if not now, when? Now! is the answer and make it game changing.

Spring and turbulent times give two ideal reasons to focus on core business opportunities, high-yield clients, and your key talent. Pare down! Keep the givers and producers, release the takers and pretenders. You know who and what they are. Preserve processes that deliver what pays off and seek innovations that inspire and energize stakeholders of your organization. Easy to say – hard to do!

Over 20 years ago I heard International business guru and author Peter Drucker tell an executive “during turbulent times put everything on trial for its life.” Everything pertains to people even if it is a harsh thought. Remember results are often harsh, yet always fair to high achievers. This type of accountability in the short run stretches talent and in the long run sustains successful organizations.

When I conduct either our Leading Leaders and/or Leading Excellence sessions, I ask heads of organizations “have you ever let someone go too late?” Almost everyone raises his or her hand while they groan and roll their eyes back at the thought. When I ask, “have you ever let someone go too early” and people look around for the one or two hands raised. Most heads of businesses want accountability but hate conflict, and consequently avoid letting people go.

Great organizations are where people fire themselves when they are unwilling to let go of the past, keep up with the pace and/or don’t want to be part of the organization’s future. How do you set it up so under producing talent self-select to get out of the way and let someone or something take their place that will give it all they got?

Few years ago while in Singapore a wealthy young owner of a premier hotel, Starbucks Coffee franchises and other enterprise was directed to me to explore developing his top managers into leaders. He was very skeptical that he should invest in building a leadership team even though his organization was adrift. After a very brief introduction by one of his key executives he boldly said to me “it’s disappointing to develop leaders and they leave.” And I responded “it is worse to not develop them and they stay!”

How can you stimulate a self-selection process that helps prune deadwood and determine who and what you give attention to? The number one difference is that managers give attention to problems and leaders give attention to potential. We get more of what we give attention to.

Accountability is the way an organization ensures that talent constantly adds value and generates game changing innovations. Savvy leadership recognizes and rewards this behavior. How are scores kept? I suggest you start this spring appraising the performance of everyone in charge of others quarterly. Devise a questionnaire that provides a one to five (1-5) score for the four or five things you expect each team member to be accountable for that actualizes the organizations vision, accomplishes its mission, and/or achieves business objectives. We call our accountability tool the Quarterly Leader’s Scorecard. Consider that game changing leadership most likely happens when you and your leaders keep score more often. Spring, summer, fall, and winter lead on!

Philip C. Lee, Lead Together advises heads of large organizations worldwide and consults local business owners on why and how to effectively ” Lead Leaders” and advises managers to “Lead Excellence 24/7”. Lee is the originator of the Organization Leadership Appraisal & Giving Attention Potential Scale, Envisioning to Result Gains model, and Achievements, Goals and Challenges (AGC™) processes. Mr. Lee lived in Mission Hills/San Diego, California for over 40 years and currently resides in Las Vegas, NV with his wife Ilse. He can be reached through LinkedIn or at pegleader@gmail.com.

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