Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 30, 2013
Today’s work environment of doing more with less may create an illusion of getting more done but often results in lower quality work and reduced leader confidence. Finding the time to complete a few key steps will enable you to align to your company’s vision, produce higher quality results and avoid burnout.
Step 1: Be absolutely clear on your vision. The only way you’re going to be able to ferret out the “nice to do” from the “need to do” is to have a clear vision. Too often leaders assume a company’s vision statement is enough. Your team needs a clear picture of where you are taking them and how that aligns to the company’s vision. Forget about creating some lofty word infused vision statement. Instead identify your organization’s value proposition and higher purpose. Create a picture of what it looks like when your team has accomplished success. Share this story of this compelling future with your team and involve them in setting the strategies to reach that vision. Make certain every team member has a role in keeping the team on track to this vision.
Step 2: Get your key stakeholders aligned. Share your vision story and get feedback from your key stakeholders on your vision, success measures and strategies. Make certain that your strategies meet their most important needs. Use this dialogue as an opportunity to educate them on the things that you are doing that are critical to the company’s vision that are outside of their normal view. Help them learn that your team adds more value to the company than they may know.
Step 3: Question everything you do relative to the vision. Your vision and strategies are powerful guides to decision making. If the work doesn’t help you reach your aligned vision or the company’s vision it is most likely “nice to do” work and not essential. Use this guide to determine when you should say “no.” The work you did in step 2 to align your key stakeholders to your vision, will give you the confidence to say no since you are meeting their highest needs.
Step 4: Manage up. Make certain you take time to report on the progress to your strategies to your key stakeholders. This will help them see that you are focused on the right things. It will also help them understand the scope of your projects so that it is easier to understand why you might have to say no to a “nice to do” request later. Advertising your workload and accomplishments is especially important for support functions like IT and HR, who must manage across executive expectations. Unfortunately there is often a perception that if the support function is not working on a project of importance to that executive, then they must not be working very hard. It’s the responsibility of the leader to keep the stakeholders educated and manage the pressure on the team’s workload.
Making time for these first steps may at first seem counterintuitive when you are buried in the tyranny of the urgent. However, as leaders attending Propel Forward’s visioning workshops often comment, the payoffs, (such as higher quality work, gaining a reputation for being focused on the right things and eliminating evening and weekend hours for the team) are well worth it.
Propel Forward LLC provides consulting, coaching and workshops to improve a leader's ability to set a vision for their organization and increase their confidence to lead and influence. Carlann has worked with leaders at companies such as Intel, Visteon, Florida Power and the Department of Defense. She can be reached at carlann(at)propelforward(dot)com.