Getting What You Want through a Proven Dynamic for Successful Leadership
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Chapter 6 From Projects to the Doing Congratulations!!!
It is time for the Doing, executing your projects. You have worked your way down the roadmap and now have documented projects. Or, you had a project ready to go and jumped in here with the Doing In this section we are addressing where strategy execution, in the form of delivering on projects, fails or succeeds. We’re exploring what is often missing and needed, but invisible, when it comes to turning projects into action and results. Up to this point we have been action planning and living in “ideas land”, now it is time for getting things done. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. When the “rubber is not on the road” the car won’t move forward in the direction intended by the driver. Some leaders are great with ideas and planning but fail to execute, experiencing serious productivity breakdowns. I know that you are bright, energetic, ambitious and way too busy. You’re paid to get things done. Some things you can do yourself while others need the efforts of others. Consider that the higher you go in management or the larger your business becomes the more you will be dependent on others, relying on them for key deliverables. The problems leaders face come into play in a variety of ways when we are dependent on others, slowing or stopping productivity. The antidote is having a bullet proof productivity system that will serve you in dealing with these issues or adroitly avoiding them the rest of your career. Typically assignments and projects come to you; you get energized and go to work. Then you have problems getting people to deliver and be accountable. You may know why you’re having problems. Then again, you might not have a clue. If I were a betting man I’d wager that you do not have a complete productivity system that will support you going from high-level goals to great results. Very few people do but do not take this as an attack. You simply were not provided the training and a roadmap for navigating in today’s complex environment. We use to play with a game called Mr. Potato Head, where you would have a variety of legs, arms, ears, noses and you could mix and match until your ribs hurt from laughing. The object was to make the funniest face and body out of a potato. We would be rolling on the floor from some of the faces. Now that you are intent on getting something done you probably don’t have time to play with potatoes. But whether you realize it or not, you probably still play mix and match as you manage day to day. You see, each managerial activity has multiple components to it that must seamlessly work together to get excellent results. Components are typically linked into your managerial system. However, if any of the components are either missing, out of order or simply wrong, you will not get optimal results – and you will not know why. This can be disastrous for your productivity, your career and your personal well-being. We will discuss some of the key components of a solid managerial system for producing effectively every time. The opportunity here is to become aware of your leadership and management system, or lack of same, and assess it as to whether it is serving you in today’s work world. If you see the need, you can consciously design your productivity system using the proven perspective, positioning notions and conversation tools that will be presented. In our work with hundreds of leaders over the years we’ve learned the following two things are absolutely mandatory in any endeavor, and especially leading others. 1. You must have a proven, time tested system for leading and managing, and 2. You must “work the system”, that is, implement it, practice it and reinforce others who jump in with you. This calls for consistency and persistence. Andre Young, CFO Advanced Navigation and Positioning Corporation asked, “What would it be worth to you if everyone on your team did the most important things they could do to move the goal forward each and every day?” 1 This is the central focus of the Doing section we’re about to explore. The Doing section is designed to help leaders in the role of producer and managers charged with production on a day to day basis. It’s focused on executing strategy, achieving intended goals, and getting things done. We’ll explore a new way of thinking and leading designed to increase productivity while growing your people and taking care of them in the process. It is about your having a coherent production system that informs you when you need to shift or change your strategy. It is about your becoming masterful in producing and innovating wherever you work. Background Before we go into the system we’d like to share a follow-up letter our associate Randy Englund and we wrote to participants of our leadership workshop which includes a key piece on the various management models you must know about to be effective. Dear Leaders, Bottom line, our day was spent exploring and discussing your leadership and management model, which sources the explicit choices you make around: 1. How you set direction 2. How you make decisions 3. How you motivate, and 4. How you coordinate activities We made the claim that management science has not kept up with the explosion of technology and today’s global work. And we said that management as a discipline has been neglected. For the past 50 years leadership has been glorified by gurus who have minimized the importance of management. Very simply, they equated leadership with effectiveness and management with efficiency. Literally, the top thinks and the rest carry out that thinking. It turns out however, that everyone, managers and contributors, participate in leadership and management interactions (conversations). In our research we’re finding that the exploration of management models is gaining steam in academic circles. However, we’ve found that people who manage don’t typically talk about or explore their management model, since it lives in the background. Day to day, they simply operate from it. Those who take a moment to examine their management model can determine: • Whether or not it is working to their advantage in their present environment and current work demands, • If they are operating from their model because they have always done it “this way” or “this is how we did it at my other company”. We call this a “drift” and claim it is time to “design”. • Whether it would be advantageous to “upgrade” their model for the sake of helping their company and themselves to gain a competitive advantage. The key advantage is that for each of the questions of management listed above a manager can make choices about how they are working. However, without a sense of their present model and the availability of other models and new ways of thinking, they basically have no choice.