Effective executives always have a bigger picture in mind articulated in the form of a strategic plan. The broad actions listed in the strategic plan are then broken down into smaller more focused targets within a tactical plan. From the tactical, even smaller actions and steps are written into the form of programs and projects. Each program and/or project is narrow in focus and designed to make it easy for others to know what to do and be able to take the necessary steps to get the larger objectives achieved.
It’s a Battle Ground
An organization, business or practice is a living thing in the sense that someone has given birth to it (Founder and/or owner) and others are now apart of it, helping to forward the business’s goals and purposes through their collective and effective (hopefully) actions.
There are a plethora of things that can go wrong on any given day, such as; personnel (lateness, ineffectiveness, disagreements, untrained and more), client emergencies, vendor problems, product or service issues, etc. Rather than coming in and being hit with whatever that days emergencies are, it is much more workable to realize your business, practice or organization is a battleground where everyone is working to gain ground in the field or market you are in, win over more business and achieve their overall company objectives.
In a 2011 study we did in Burbank, California we found that out of 146 employees those that wrote up a plan the night before with exact steps of what they were going to accomplish the next day and then used that plan immediately upon arriving at work obtained an average of 87% completion rate on their listed items for the day. In comparison to a mere 22% average with those who didn’t.
In addition to the higher completion rate, those that wrote up their plan for the next day ahead of time also achieved a higher level of overall production through reviewing their longer-term strategic plan, tactical plan, programs and projects and added targets and actions to their daily plan that actually helped move the business ahead in their strategy versus just nice-to-do items.
Effective executives focus on doing first things first. They concentrate on one thing at a time with discipline and focus. Effective executives prioritize and focus on a few major areas that will produce significant results. Executives are expected to get the right things done. It is significantly easier to know what to focus on when they have a strategic plan, tactical, programs and projects and write their daily plan for the next day with all of these things in mind.
A Sure Sign of Success
Solving problems is a never-ending endeavor, just when you’ve solved one problem another raises its head seeking attention. One thing to keep in mind is the more organization and solutions you put into place within your organization, the more order goes in and the more productivity occurs. Because of this productivity and action, some areas that were already weak can now show up as a block or as a slow on your production line. Don’t worry. Just continue to put in more order and continue to organize and all will become right.
Utilizing the Talent you Have
Effective executives build on the strengths of their leaders, peers and their teams. Everyone has some talent or something they are good at and really enjoy doing. The key to a really effective executive is to be great at spotting what each of your employees are really good at and enjoy doing and matching them up with the positions in the company that will allow them to capitalize on these skills.
You will only be as good as your team and your team will only be as good as their willingness to do. Develop and leverage the strengths within a team and you increase the effectiveness and impact as a whole.
There could be no greater thing than validating the things people do right. Have you ever noticed that the world is full of stops and making people feel wrong? Parents, babysitters, teachers, siblings, friends, family, employers and on and on all giving advice or enforcing rules. While all of this can be useful, the problems or faults being pushed on people far outweighs the validations they get.
As a test, pick 3 people and try just praising them for doing something right multiple times a day for a full week or two. Praising can consist of something like, “Thank you so much for handling __________. You did that very well!” or “Wow! You really handled that effectively. I am proud of you!” or some such statement. Your praise needs to be directed towards something they did and not made up and your praise needs to be real and not sarcastic etc. Ignore any problems. Just focus on validation for 1-2 weeks.
I bet your employees or kids or whomever you try this test on will have quite a change either in their level of production, quality of production or just overall productivity. Try it yourself and see!