Since it is January I see so much content about setting and achieving goals – and they are so right to bring attention to that.
I want to take a different approach and to challenge your thinking as you embark on this year. I’m not being different just for the sake of it, but because I am passionate about this subject.
I want to talk about leadership.
Now leadership is not just for the CEO, Managing Director or President – whatever the title is! Leadership is definitely for the CEO, Managing Director etc, but it also for everyone in your organisation – particularly those who manage other people.
So, are you going to focus on being a great leader this year or are you going to be a great manager? Because you see, they are different.
I have always found it helpful to differentiate between leading and managing and was helped many years ago by a mentor whose wise words were: “You lead people and you manage things.”
Great businesses are built by leaders, not managers. Great leaders attract followers, and together they bring the vision to life.
So, where to start?
Well, let’s not make this a long, drawn out exercise – let’s get into action wherever you are today, and then build as you go.
My 5 steps to get you started are:
- Share the vision with your top team this week. If you have not got it clear then work on it together. But whatever you do, get it crystal clear so a 6 year old could understand it. It does not have to be cleverly worded, with fancy language and involve the usual mix of “shareholders, customers and staff” that you see elbowed into many meaningless vision statements. Just describe what you want the business to look like in 3/5/10 years – whatever timescale you are comfortable with. You must get buy in from your top team, to start.
- Be fully satisfied that you have the right team in place. I mean this! This can be a tough one because so often we know there is someone who does not fit but we put off dealing with it. If you don’t have the “right people on the bus”, as Jim Collins says, then you are only storing up problems for later. So, here you must have certainty. If it’s the right team – then great! If it’s not – do something to change it to become the right team.
- Agree 5/6 key deliverables with each member on the team and ensure that everyone knows what everyone else has to deliver. Why? For a number of reasons – they will need support from each other, they can see how it all fits together and they can hold each other accountable. Then agree a process with the team how you, as a team, will monitor progress.
- You now must schedule time with each member of the team when you will coach them to be leaders. Note, I did not say “manage” them – I expect that to happen anyway. But coaching them to become great leaders will be the difference between being average and excellent. Who wants average?
- You must now take on the role of being the guardian of the vision and find every opportunity to talk about it, discuss it at every level in the business and make it part of the organisation’s culture.
All of these actions you can start today – not tomorrow, next week or a couple of weeks from now. It does take courage, but, remember, courage is not an emotion – it is an action!
Be a great leader and build a great business!
FREE STRATEGY CALL
If you would like to sharpen your skills as a leader and a manager, then why not take advantage of a free 45 minute session which will give you actions you can take straight away to make you more effective. Then go to www.johnmurphyinternational.com/call to schedule that session.