This is really, really hard. You have to be able to clearly say YES, and more important, to clearly say NO.
Here’s one difficulty: There’s a lot of things that you’d like to say YES to, but they’re not essential. You feel guilty, the people around you give you some static, and before you know it, you’ve fallen into a YES – or worse, saying YES with no intention to follow through.
The second difficulty is that the job isn’t just about WHAT you do, it’s also HOW you do it. Interactions with customers are critical. Following the law is important. Keeping other people informed reduces confusion and rework. The problem is that it’s hard to draw a clear line around some of these activities, which can end up consuming most of the available time.
The third difficulty is that you, the boss, may not be really clear on what it takes to get all the jobs done. If you set objectives and measures without a good understanding, you can easily find that they drive precisely the wrong behaviors.
The ideal solution is to have just a handful of goals, to have the measures and metrics fully aligned to support those goals, to have the work broken down into logical chunks which can be executed efficiently, and to have everybody absolutely clear on their roles.
But start with the clarity of goals and measures – without those, the rest of it is impossible. What would it mean to have a highly efficient organization which is going after the wrong goals?
- Leadership principle #1: Get people involved
- Leadership principle #7: Value
- What’s your story?
- Are coach credentials important?
- Is your coaching program on track?