Have More Time for Your Priorities

Here are three suggestions to significantly reduce demands on your time:

  • Attract, develop, and retain really good people who report to you. This is very highest priority because direct reports who do not perform well cause you to have to step in and work at their level. When you do that, you are also underperforming. Get great people so you can add the highest value.
  • Formulate and articulate a very clear mission or purpose. A mission forces you and your organization to focus on what is important. Say no to things that may be attractive, but aren’t aligned with your purpose.
  • Leaders are under tremendous pressure to do way too many things. It’s a mistake to try to do 20 different things. Instead, choose 1-2 priorities each day and say no to everything else. Move the 1-2 things ahead a mile instead of moving 20 things forward an inch.
Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
___________________________
I provide leaders with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals. I advise and consult with leaders to increase their effectiveness and improve work/life balance. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce sustainable growth and value.
If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for your priorities, contact me. Together, we’ll explore ways to work together.
My website is www.boblegge.com
Contact me at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

 

Escaping Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted to it. That’s why meetings fill the time scheduled even when the content doesn’t require it.

The senior leader’s challenge with this goes beyond meetings has two dimensions: An organizational challenge and a personal challenge. Organizations have more available initiatives and projects than resources, so they must choose which ones to work on, and which to conscientiously ignore. That is a key part of formulating strategy and operating plans. And it is the senior leader who has the final responsibility of making the decision.

On the personal side, the senior leader always needs more time than is available, so the challenge is both choosing the right things to do and reducing the amount of time needed to do his/her own work. I’ve been successful in helping CEOs and presidents capture 1-2 hours per day to focus more on strategy, spend more time with key customers, or improve their work-life balance. The key is discipline, routines, and developing a capable and efficient organization.

Parkinson’s Law is not universal. You do not have to be bound by it.

Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
___________________________
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family. .
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

 

When Self-Improvement Really Begins

I work with CEOs, presidents, and high-level executives to improve their effectiveness. While I have made exceptions, as a rule I won’t take a client who is referred to me for remedial coaching or “last chance” coaching. The reason is simple: The odds of a person making progress are slim or none if he/she doesn’t want to improve, doesn’t see the need and is unwilling to accept objective feedback.

I recently spoke to a group of about a dozen employees in a corporation on increasing personal effectiveness in their various roles. I asked each person in the group to assess eight of their personal skills and abilities are on a scale of 1 (very weak, lots of room to improve) to 10 (outstanding, can’t get much better.) Normally, individuals in groups like this will rate themselves from 4 to 8 on most items. In this group, they all scored themselves from 8 to 10 on every item. What it told me was that either the culture did not allow them to be honest in their assessments, or that they simply are not honest with themselves. If you believe that you are a 9 or a 10 in communication (as an example,) then you’re not being objective. Everyone can improve communication skills.

The first step in self-improvement is to see the need or opportunity to improve. That’s the beginning point. It doesn’t matter if others say improvement is needed; unless the individual sees the need, it’s a non-starter.

P.S. Getting to 9 or 10 on the 1-10 scale is not very important. Continual progress and improvement is.

The Implementation Advantage


Strategy fails when it’s not implemented well – when it’s not connected to what goes on in people’s jobs day-to-day.  You need to connect it.  And you also want decisions to be made consistent with strategic intent.  Strategy implementation has to be part of the daily fabric of the organization.  It’s not done once a month, it’s not something you do once a week; it must be the daily fabric of the organization.  And, by the way, it doesn’t need to add to day-to-day work.  But it does take smart implementation. 

When you’re ready to launch the strategy, you need to make sure that you’ve got everything ready to go:  Your communications, your top team fully on board, your organization structure and key processes in alignment.

Copyright 2019  Bob Legge

___________________________

I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value. 


If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.

My website is www.boblegge.com

3 Leadership Themes for 2019

A quick observation:  My best clients, the ones who get the most value from our work together, take the ideas we discuss and put them into practice instead of thinking about them or dwelling on why they can’t act.  They are also already effective leaders with an ongoing desire to get better and stronger.    

As you go forward this new year, put emphasis on the following:

  • Your vision.  Give your people the “why” behind what drives you and should drive your business.  It can be a vision statement (like Apple) or a rallying cry (like FedEx.)  Make work something more than the day-to-day operations.
  • Your ability to articulate the vision.  Posting a vision statement or values is okay, but the most effective leaders are continually communicating the vision and strategic theme over and over in different ways.
  • Focus.  Keep the organization focused on the few things that really drive value for customers.  All else is added cost.  Organizations have an amazing ability to add complexity, go off on tangents, and get caught-up in policy and procedure.  Simplify and keep your organization sharply-focused.

Copyright 2019  Bob Legge

___________________________

I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value. 


If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.

My website is www.boblegge.com


The Sharply-Focused Organization

Strategy formulation and planning are really two different things.  And of course the value isn’t in spending three days setting strategy.  The point isn’t walls full of easel sheets and group think, it’s all about what do you do to make things happen.  Strategy is NOTHING without implementation.

Implementation is putting strategy into action.

That means several things:

  1. Creating timeframes, metrics, accountabilities, and so forth, so that, as CEO after three months, you can know you’ve made progress. 
  2. Getting the organization sharply focused on the strategy. 
  3. Managing execution
  4. Communicating with the people in the organization about what the strategy is in a way that is clear, simple and compelling. 
  5. Making changes, when necessary to structure, work flows, management processes, people, compensation and the rest, to ensure that the organization is very focused and fully aligned with the strategy.

Formulating a strategy is only the beginning.
How good is your follow-through?

Copyright 2018  Bob Legge

___________________________

 I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value. 


If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.

My website is www.boblegge.com

Making changes, when necessary to structure, work flows, management processes, people, compensation and the rest, to ensure that the organization is very focused and fully aligned with the strategy.

Strategy Isn’t Tactics

Strategy isn’t about starting from today and going forward into the future.  It’s about defining the future you want and working backwards from it to determine how you’re going to get there.  If instead you begin with where you are today and plan to make improvements going forward, what you’re doing isn’t strategic.   It’s operational.  It’s all about tactics and incremental improvement to try to be competitive. 

The best companies don’t want to be competitive, they want to be leading the competition – to be distinctive, to have an edge that provides significant value for their customers, and to make it sustainable so that it cannot be easily replicated. 

So, if you start with something you call ‘strategy’ but which is really operational improvement, you’re simply trying to be competitive –like everyone else.

Why not take the opportunity to think more broadly about your business – to think strategically, and develop a strategy that makes you distinctive, not just competitive.

Copyright 2018  Bob Legge

___________________________

 I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value. 

If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.

My website is here

Contact me at:  bob@boblegge.com

What Nobody Tells You about Consistency and Efficiency

For all the benefits of six-sigma, lean, JIT, etc. (and there are significant benefits,) you must not let the focus on efficiency drive out innovation and creativity. 

This is particularly true for engineers who need dedicated time to work on new and different ideas. 

The more you become obsessed with consistency and efficiency in operations, the more likely you are to be diverted from identifying and addressing new opportunities. 

Do make sure that progress is being made on operational excellence, but also continue to encourage experimentation and new thinking.  That is the lifeblood of your business.

Copyright 2018  Bob Legge

___________________________

I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value. 


If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.

My website is www.boblegge.com

Contact me at:   bob@boblegge.com

Excellence at Work

Being excellent and efficient at getting things done is good. It’s what effective managers do.
Being excellent at deciding which things to get done is critical. It’s what effective leaders do.
******
This is a week for giving thanks. If you’re not good at thanking people, this is a good week to begin.
And thank you. To all my clients and friends, to all my readers, and to all the people who influence my thinking and my work.

Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
___________________________
I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.

If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.
My website is www.boblegge.com

How to Address Resistance to Accountability (or to any change)

Last week I heard from a teacher in the Boston area in response to my piece about accountability. She said, “Wow! This is what I do every day as a teacher!”

Many managers and executives tell me that their people aren’t ready for accountability, or have a negative response to the word ‘accountability.’ Is that the case in your organization, and if so, why?

Here’s what works when you encounter any sort of resistance to change:

  1. Do not ignore the resistance – it will only build in strength. They’ll think you did not hear them.
  2. Do not force compliance – the resistance will become covert and continue to grow for the same reason as in #1 above.
  3. Do take the time to listen to people who are resisting. Often just the act of showing that they are being heard will significantly reduce resistance.
  4. Do explain why the change is both needed and in their own best interest.
  5. Move ahead with the change, continuing to be open to feedback, and with the resolve to keep it moving forward.

Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
___________________________
I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.

If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.
My website is http://www.boblegge.com
Contact me at: bob@boblegge.com