Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.
When I first started my leadership journey I had grand visions that I would inspire great things. This thought was a little bit down the road. Before we can make changes we need to understand the results that we are being measured on.
As a frequent listener to the Manager Tools podcast, I understand the main objective of any manager is to produce results. I did not do a great job in first determining the results I was measured on and leading to results.
What results are you leading to?
How do you plan on producing those results?
Do you understand the companies vision?
The first step is identifying the problem we need to solve. As a leader or a follower, we need to get this out in the open. Next, we want to understand everyone’s interest. Companies are primarily trying to make a profit. As a technology professional, I can get sidetracked on using a new technology. Make sure it makes money first!Leaders must help to solve problems! #ProblemSolving Click To Tweet
We need to begin by listing the possible solutions for the problem. From there, we move onto evaluating the solutions for the problem. Make sure to identify characteristics and perhaps weighing on them as well. Some organizations may emphasize time to completion where others might have cost being the determining factor.
Now we can select the option we agree on. Make sure to document the decision. Identify a few contingencies if something falls through and steps to monitor this. We need to continue to evaluate the solution to make sure things are implemented as needed.
Leaders need to be constantly planning as they develop. Leaders first must develop their tactical planning skills. Our first responsibilities as a new leader are to take the long range goals and break them into short-term action items.
Strategic thinking is quite different than tactical day to day planning. When you move up the ranks into senior leadership we need to begin to craft longer range plans. We also need to create more as strategy is more nebulous. This can be a true challenge for the more analytical people out there. If this is a weak spot for you make sure to take the time to work on this.
Recently our family went to a restaurant and my daughter was having a hard time deciding what to order. It was a nice place know for their steaks. They had many nice things to choose from and she got a bit overwhelmed. My wife did a good job of talking her through the choices and coming up with a decision.
On the DISC scale I am a high D and I. So I can grow impatient when people take a long time to decide. For people who are high C’s, they can get bogged down in the details and try to research for a long period of time. If you struggle with this give yourself a set time and make a decision.
When I need to write or research something I need a quiet space. A friend of mine who has written a few books actually enjoys the noise. He prefers to write in Las Vegas poolside. The background noise helps him focus in. Where do you find your focus?Keep your team focused! #LeaderFocus Click To Tweet
Make sure you understand how your team members can vary widely on this. Give them freedom to find focus in their own way. Not everyone works best in a loud office. Perhaps they need to spend their afternoons at the library.
As leaders rise to the top of an organization sharing the vision becomes more important. Dave Ramsey talks about this in his book Entreleadership. He claims how leaders need to continually need to share the vision. Organizations have a vision leak and we need to keep sharing it.
How do you handle making decisions?
Can you keep focus as you work?
What methods do you use to share the vision?
Even if you are not a leader you can work on your problem-solving skills. Planning is a crucial skill we also need as leaders. Build these skills along with your ability to focus on your deliverables. Then it all culminates with the ability to share the vision and inspire your team.