I’m admittedly not the biggest Alabama or even sports fan, but I’m continually amazed at the display of world-class LSP in televised football. Live, up close, HD, plus slow-motion replay and analysis.
Leadership, Strategy, & Process in 1-2-3 order is a simple straightforward approach to accomplish almost any worthwhile objective, like winning a national championship!
I know what was said, but what was really communicated? Too often, because of courtesy, culture, or for other reasons, one party doesn’t believe it’s appropriate (or more likely worth the risk) to share their true thoughts and opinions. I sometimes wonder how much is gained or lost as a result. Some of my favorite words of advice to young leaders and anyone in a customer facing role is “Listen for what was meant, not just what was said.”
In my experience, one of the most formidable powers in your workplace is peer pressure. The daily, if not minute by minute, sense by an individual that whatever they do in an environment surrounded by their co-workers, friends, family, and associates will be observed, assessed, and challenged. In the parts of your business where the culture (Leadership + Strategy) reinforces positive behaviors, outcomes, and relationships then the resultant peer pressure could be a game-changing tail-wind.
However, if in other parts of your business the environment reinforces avoidance, abdication, excuses, short-cuts, selfishness, or worse, then the relational pressure to resist or challenge these negative headwinds will be just too much to bear for all but the strongest willed employees. In that situation, many will just “keep their heads down”, stay quiet, avoid conflict, do what they are told, and be content to just hold on to their jobs and paycheck. At least for as long as the company stays in business.
My simple definition of an organization’s culture is:
(Leadership + Strategy) = Culture
Who leaders are, what they believe, how they behave, and their plan or strategy to move the organization forward and deliver increasing value to stakeholders tends to define the organization’s environment… but I can’t resist a simple equation.
Over my 25+ year career as a business leader, there have been a number of strategies or approaches to creating value and meeting marketplace needs that I’ve seen as true game changers. Virtually all were pioneered by others, but several I’ve been able to learn from and use to achieve success. Among the 10 or so on my list, here are a few examples:
What game-changing strategies or methods have you discovered? How successful have you been at deploying them? What gaps do you need to bridge to get your organization to the next level? Need any help with that?
Many leaders are inclined to take on big challenges and make promises that will stretch their capabilities. In fact, it may be a requirement of their job. Can you relate? Sometimes we make commitments with ourselves, but often there is pressure from others (customers, employees, peers, bosses, owners, friends, family, etc.) to do or deliver something by a certain time. How do you manage this pressure?
Am I stating the obvious here, by saying that upfront is the best time to manage expectations? Apparently not, based on my experience and the dilemmas that I see so many get themselves into. When it comes to commitments, you have just a few choices:
Often the effort required to consider, plan for, and manage the expectations of others, in the beginning, is far less than what will be required to deal with unclear assumptions, un-reasonable requests, or uncomfortable excuses when expectations are unmet.
Clearly under promise, and then work as smart as you can and as hard as you must to consistently over deliver.