Welcome to the first 2018 issue of At Your Best. This year, I want to take a deeper dive on how to develop the leadership competencies that are most important to organizational and personal success. Each month, I'll offer my "how-to" on developing one of those key competencies. This month, we'll start things off with Driving Results. If this month's feature article is useful to you, it will probably be useful to your colleagues as well. Please forward At Your Best to them and encourage them to subscribe.
How To Drive Results
There are a lot of important leadership competencies, but, ultimately, if you don't deliver results, none of the rest of them matter that much. Based on the best practices of the best clients I've worked with over the years, here's my step-by-step guide on how to drive results:
- Get really clear on what the result is and why it matters. Communicating the purpose of a project and the picture of what success looks sets your team off on the right foot and keeps them motivated along the way.
- Make sure you know who the result matters to the most. In other words, who is the ultimate customer of this result? Your answer will have a lot to do with why the result matters but will also help you clarify the conditions of success. If you can't identify a clear customer, that's a decent sign that you shouldn't be spending time and resources working on the result.
- Reverse engineer back from the result. What are the steps along the way to achieving the outcome? You don't have to (and probably can't) come up with every step but working your way back from the outcome should give you an idea of the kinds of resources, partners and time you'll need to accomplish the goal.
- Many projects and initiatives fail because the lines of accountability aren't clear. Take time to determine, communicate and reinforce who's doing what and by when. Who are the decision makers along the way? Who's doing the day to day work? What are the key milestones on the way to the goal and how will you check progress against the milestones?
- Who else needs to know? Keeping key stakeholders in the loop makes it easier to get results because you can reduce the amount of incoming questions, redirections and other distractions. You can also get valuable perspective and input that can lead to faster and better results.
- Finally, get super clear on the highest and best use of your time and attention. Here's a hint - it's probably not figuring out every aspect of how to get the results. It's more likely in defining what needs to be done, supporting and coaching the people who are figuring out how to do it, monitoring progress, making adjustments and recognizing success.
The Lead at Your Best, Live at Your Best Podcast is coming soon to a smartphone near you. I've been recording some great interviews with a diverse range of leaders who share their strategies for leading and living at their best. I think you'll love this. Watch for the launch in the next month or so. In the meantime, what questions or challenges do you have about leading and living at your best? Email us at email@example.com to share what's on your mind.
The 3rd edition of The Next Level is coming this Fall with new tools and insights on what it takes to lead and live at your best when you have to get next level results.
Where I've Been and Where I'll Be
January 9 - 10: Vancouver, B.C. to facilitate a strategic offsite for the senior leadership team of an energy industry start-up client.
January 15: Minnetonka, MN to deliver executive coaching to senior executives in a medical device company client.
January 16: Cyberspace to provide a preview of the Lead at Your Best, Live at Your Best keynote I'll be delivering at the Health Care Compliance Association conference in April.
January 18 & 31: Cyberspace to lead follow-up video conferences with executives participating in a year-long development program for a Fortune 500 client.
January 23 - 24: Norfolk, VA to design a leadership competency model and deliver executive coaching with the senior leadership team of a national financial institution client.
January 25: Baltimore, MD to wrap-up a coaching engagement with an executive of a Fortune 500 client.
Most of February: at home writing the 3rd edition of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.
February 9: Las Vegas, NV to see Elton John in concert (70 years old and still getting it done)!
February 15 - 18: Santa Monica, CA to participate in Renaissance Weekend (no, it's not a Renaissance Fair).
February 22: Vienna, VA to deliver Next Level Leadership® Group Coaching to high potential leaders of a national non-profit organization client.
Stuff We Love - Business Travel Edition
As you can see from the list above, I do a lot of business travel. Here are a couple of things I love that make my trips a little more comfortable.
The Zojirushi 16 ounce stainless steel travel mug keeps my morning tea hot all day and my soda water pleasantly cold for at least 24 hours. It's the bomb.
Native Union makes super sturdy USB charging cables with self-attached clasps that make them easy to roll up no matter what the length - 10 ft., 6 ft. or 4 ft. Pick your favorite for the bedside table in your hotel room.
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