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Leadership

Posts tagged Leadership
Only promise what you can deliver!

Delivering on your promises is doing what you said you would do, when you said you would do it.

If you always do exactly what you say you will do you will build a very strong relationship with your colleagues, managers and customers. If you can deliver more than that, then better still!

Under promise and over deliver whenever possible!

Many companies use this principle to build trust and strong relationships between all levels of the organization and its customer and shareholder base. A classic business example is Apple’s constantly low guidance for revenue and profit and over delivery every single quarter.

Be always true to your word – if you promise something, deliver it. Don’t question your own promise after you have made it – you are obligated to fulfill it.

If you promised to deliver a sales presentation, make sure you are there on time and well prepared. If you promised to organize a meeting make sure you thought of everything needed. If you promised to sit in for your manager, make sure you are there and very well prepared.

Remember that a promise should be voluntarily – this is the second part of you promising something – only promise what you can deliver.

Do not let anyone pressure you into promising something you already know you will not be able to deliver. If you are sure you cannot do it – do not promise it. Say no (read also: “Never say No!”), make clear it is unreasonable and explain why – this is very important: You have to make sure that it is understood why you will not promise something, if you don’t explain people might think you implicitly promised something that you didn’t.

Unfortunately it is part of today’s business world that people will try to force you into decisions and promises - be aware of that and don't accept it.

Vision

As a manager you have to have a clear vision of your life, your work and what you want to achieve. Anyone can follow a plan, many can be very efficient in following a plan but only a leader is able to have the vision that transforms into the plan that others follow.

Being visionary means being creative, think outside the box, try to see the future and how you want to bend it. Don’t be afraid of people telling you “You are too visionary!”

Just because others can’t see yet how to get to what you envision doesn’t mean it is not feasible or wrong.

Being a visionary in your job means for once to leave all the rules and restrictions of the modern workplace behind, it means to come up with the idea on how to transform your business, your department and your work to reach a better state that for now only exists in your vision.

Often this is confused with mission statements or company strategies that get so washed down that they have lost all meaning. My favorite mission statement from one of the companies I have worked for was: “We will provide the best possible service to our customer!” Really? This is not a mission statement or a strategy, this is a given!

Your vision or your company’s vision is looking ahead, trying to define what your job or your company should be like in the future. You should constantly define this for all areas of your work and challenge your team to work towards this vision. If you do activities that do not support your vision question yourself – are you doing something superfluous or is your vision not valid anymore? Don’t hang on to yesterday’s vision if it is not current anymore – be creative and come up with a better one.

To be visionary will set you apart as a manager. You will be able to anticipate where your company is going and you will be in the prime position to move your team, your job and your company towards this vision. Being a visionary will make you more important than your actual status in the company hierarchy – you will shape the success of your company!

 

JoeLeadership, VisionComment
This is crap!

Well, here we are. I said it – this is crap!

How many times a day do you hear this at work? How many times did your manager, your colleagues or your team members confront you with “This is crap!”?

If your organization is like mine, this has happened approximately ZERO times over the last 10 years and won’t happen any time in the near future either (with the noteworthy exception of one single manager, who frequently used the “Shit” version of this phrase and achieved surprisingly great results across his whole part of our organization).

I’ve seen this reluctance to truth many times and it really bothers me. Believe me; everyone knows when they see shit!

Everyone thinks to themselves, “This is shit!” but tries to evade this blatant criticism by saying “Hmmm, it looks pretty good already – why don’t you work another week on it and come back to me?” 

You know what is a lot more productive for everyone involved? I think you figured it out.

We have to encourage everyone we are working with to be blatantly honest! If something is great, call it great – if something is shit, call it shit!

There is no politically correct way of saying it without creating mixed messages or a huge loss in productivity. If you label something “ok”, and encourage your team members to tweak it a little bit more, you not only waste your own time, but also the valuable resources of your whole team. The end result will be: “ok shit”.

If you tell it like it is, you will have a positive influence on your team and the quality of whatever you are producing.