An Essential Leadership Skill: Following-Up

Executing a strategy, implementing a decision, changing a culture, achieving an operating plan…all require the leadership skill of following-up. It is an enormous mistake to assume that because you’ve discussed a new initiative in meetings that people will both understand what needs to be done and do it – even if you’ve sent an email summarizing what needs to be done.

If it’s important, you have to be following-up effectively.

Several leaders have told me that they shouldn’t have to follow-up, that people should understand and take action once it’s been discussed. I agree – they should, but it’s not realistic. It’s up to the leader to make sure that effort is sustained and leads to results. And that happens by following-up.

If it takes a lot of time and effort to follow-up, you’re not doing it effectively.Can your following-up skill be improved?

Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
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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 (at) leggecompany.com

You Must Address Non-Performers

Make sure that non-performers or weak performers throughout your organization know where they stand.

I read a Wall Street Journal article this weekend about the New York City School System where non-performing teachers are paid not to work due to restrictive union rules. The cost to the System is $150 million dollars a year.

Non-performers, weak or mediocre performers exist in companies too, and it is management that allows the situation to persist. The cost is large, both in terms of lost productivity and the affect on other, high-performing people.

In each case, ask whether it is a skill issue or a lack of volition. The solution differs depending on the cause.

For those who cannot or will not improve performance, you need to remove them. Help them find jobs where they can be contributors either within or outside of your organization, but do not continue to incur the cost of a persistent problem.

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 http://www.boblegge.com
Contact me at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

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.

 

Developing Young Management Talent

Build both accountability and managerial skills, especially in newly-promoted managers.

Instead of asking a manager for detail on project progress, ask what he or she needs to do in his/her organization to ensure that projects are completed on-time. In the first case, you’re asking the manager to revert to past behavior and act like an individual contributor again. The manager thinks that you want him/her to personally take action and personal responsibility to move projects along or intervene for specific results.

What you want to do is get him/her thinking like a manager – ask what needs to be done in his/her organization to ensure projects are completed on time and standards are met.

It’s an important difference because one kind of question causes regression to past strengths, the other helps grow managerial skills.

Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
___________________________
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help CEOs, presidents, and senior leaders discover opportunities to become effective leaders and grow their businesses while mastering work/life balance. He has worked with leaders of Fortune 1000 and mid-market companies across multiple industries and five continents to 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.
Bob’s website is http://www.boblegge.com
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

How to be an inspiring communicator

A common challenge of leaders is to become a better, more inspiring and energizing communicator. To do that, it helps to change your perspective on your business and to think about it differently so that your can talk about it in new and exciting ways. In particular, a different strategic perspective is helpful. Leaders get their heads up above the day-to-day challenges and are able to articulate strategic themes that both attract and excite people.

For example, ask yourself, “Why is this the most exciting time in our company’s history?” What are you doing as a company that is unique and different, that gives new meaning to what everyone is working towards? Find one or few of these insights, and you will be a much better communicator.

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.

Make Top Team Meetings Effective

Developing a highly-functioning top team is not easy. It takes the right combination of people, agreement on a clear direction, the ability to interact effectively, and a number of other factors.

One difficulty I’ve noticed in many top teams is that their meetings run way too long and just don’t seem to be a good, productive use of time. The problem usually isn’t a time issue, but rather a content issue –they focus on content that is beneath them. Top teams need to focus on strategy, resource allocation and finding ways to effectively coordinate value-added processes across functions (such as the sales-operations process, or customer delivery and responsiveness.) These are the topics that only the top team can effectively address.

Stop addressing things that individuals or functions should handle. And don’t use meetings for informational presentations – they can be distributed for review.

What topics does your top team focus on?

A Great Time for Recognition

This is a good time of year to recognize exceptional performance of one or a few key individuals. Consider a lump-sum cash award, especially if you have someone who does not participate in a formal incentive plan.

Research has shown that lump sum, discretionary, and unanticipated awards have a greater effect on job performance than the same amount in base salary. And they also help to retain good people.

Present the award in private with the person’s immediate supervisor or manager, and emphasize how much you appreciate the individual’s contributions. Such recognition means a lot to individuals. Imagine how it feels to receive the award, and what a proud moment it is for that person to go home and tell his/her family all about the accolades and award.

Cash awards or not, be sure to recognize people for their work through the year.