Monday, November 24, 2008

You don't get what you expect

This may seem like a contradiction considering my post yesterday. I think that there is a second part of the toleration principle. I think it is this, your expectation in leadership must be coupled with equal levels of inspection. Meaning this... many times leaders give instructions and expect people to carry out these instructions to a "t" without ever checking in or following up on what was delegated. It is fully appropriate in leadership to set checkpoints along the way to make sure people are meeting the trajectory towards a goal. I believe that it is abdication and bad leadership to expect with out some level of inspection along the journey. I believe you help people to not feel micromanaged by clarifying on the front end that there will be a mid point inspection. For example, something is delegated on Monday that needs to be accomplished by the following Monday... You say, "I am going touch base with you on Thursday just to make sure everything is going according to plan and there is nothing you need my help with. I will call you on Thursday about this." And then you touch base on Thursday to make sure your help is not needed and that person doesn't need additional resourcing. I also believe that this goes two ways. I believe that we must submit ourselves as leaders and be accountable for projects we are trying to accomplish. On our staff we do this two ways... we each have "next steps" that we are responsible for following our monday staff meeting. We then meet just for 90 minutes on Thursday to follow up and give an update on the progress we've made. We affectionately call this Thursday meeting, "Staff inspection." Archie likes to call it "Staff infection." :-) In addition, each of our staff members brings a calendar to our staff meeting on Monday outlining their calendar for the week. This keeps us accountable for how we are spending our time, especially while we are mobile without an office.