Essential Steps for a High Return on People

Most organizations devote a lot more time and money on weak performers than they do on top performers. They think that by investing in the lowest performing people, they will improve overall company performance.

You wouldn’t do that with a portfolio of products or stocks, so why do it with your organization?

To improve your return on people, do the following:

1. Identify your best performers and make sure that they get the support and opportunities they crave. Help them contribute in even better ways that affect greater and more extensive parts of the business.

2. Identify those people with the potential to be excellent performers and provide them with the coaching, mentoring and focused development that will enable them to develop and become superb.

3. Stop investing so much time and money in weak performers. Instead, give them very clear performance expectations and deadlines. If they need specific training to be competent, give it to them, but measure whether the training actually resulted in better performance.

Also, if a manager is one of the weak performers, look to see if his/her direct reports have had any development opportunities – chances are they haven’t. Stop letting the weak manager hold people back.

Put your investment where you will get the highest return — in the best and those with the potential to be successful. Have clear performance expectations for everyone and the right processes to address poor performers when needed.

Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
___________________________
I am a trusted advisor 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.legge (at) leggecompany.com

 

Sharpen the Focus on Results

Here is one of the most common, yet astounding, things that I see in organizations: Direct reports often aren’t clear on what their jobs are. Yes, they are busy all day, but if you ask any of them what, specifically, their job is, you get a job title, or a general explanation.

Do this: Ask each of your direct reports to write-down the top 4-8 ongoing results that each of their jobs is designed to accomplish. Focus on the results the job is intended to accomplish, not the activities the person does. Ask them to bring the list to your next one-on-one.

Chances are, you’ll have a very good conversation, one that will help both of you get clearer on both outcomes and priorities.

Unless you, and especially your direct reports, know what each person is expected to accomplish, work is just a constant stream of busy-ness.

Activities aren’t what matters; results are.

 

What they may not be telling you

You need to make sure that the information you receive is not filtered. That can be more difficult than it seems.

You have to make sure that your people understand that you want candid and straight information about your business. Such information is vital to you knowing your business and making good decisions.

The worst example of this is Jeff Immelt’s strong dislike for bad news at General Electric. He insisted on only hearing good news, what insiders named “Success Theater,” where overly optimistic projections did not match the realities of the business. Because of this, Immelt did not fully understand his own business and continued to tell the board and analysts that the company was strong and ready for growth. As a result, GE is in serious trouble. The company may be broken-up and the entire board could be fired. Immelt has already lost his job.

What do you need to do to make sure that you are getting clear and unvarnished information about all salient parts of your business?

Here’s How to Set Priorities

You’re the leader. 

That means you choose the music that everyone dances to.  You need to be out in front and leading, providing direction and ideas that excite and motivate followers.  Here are my four best tips on setting priorities at the top.

  1. Be focused on what needs to be done in the future.  Don’t set priorities that will bog you down in the past.
  2. Look to seize opportunities rather than fix problems.
  3. Concentrate on accomplishing something challenging; something that will make a difference.
  4. Limit your priorities to a small number.  You’ll end-up getting much farther.

Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
___________________________
I am a trusted advisor 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 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.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.