A short primer on how to lead yourself and your team.
Remember when you followed somebody else who really wasn’t great at managing process? Remember how you used to talk about how no one knew what to do or where to go next?
Remember when you finally had to lead other people, and you realized how hard it is to manage other people toward a goal?
Yeah, me too. I have found that the best leaders combine a keen intellect–thought leadership–with a keen sense of process leadership.
You can find process leaders out there who are world class, and you can find thought leaders out there who are world class, but the Venn diagram doesn’t overlap as much as you would think. A world class leader understands the content, intent, steps, and closure point for an initiative.
And…everything is an initiative.
But how can us mere mortals define reality for our teams? I’ll put it in four points you must define.
First is your mission. The mission is the message. What is the intended result…not the action steps, but the outcome. You have to start with this. We expect to increase margins by 200 basis points.
Second is, oddly enough, the activities. You have to give at least some definition to the steps you will take. They may not be exactly right, but you have to prime the pump. We will investigate discounts offered on our key accounts by pulling the last 6 months’ data.
Third is the deliverable. Yes, it’s an aggravating word for me as well, but it’s a useful one. What are you going to deliver? We will propose specific actions to achieve the mission.
Finally, you need to define the endpoint. When is the word actually done, because the deliverable isn’t always it. We will consider ourselves finished when changes to key accounts are accepted by the key accounts manager.
It’s a simple framework for leading pretty much anything. You might say you can have it M.A.D.E. when you use such a simple process to define reality for your teams.
Good luck out there.