Exceptional leaders understand the value of human relations and the distinction between leadership, management, supervision and training. multiple demands combined with the increasing speed of information can lead to a loss of focus which impacts our effectiveness
What is it that great leaders do to avoid being swallowed up in these competing requirements, rendering them ineffective? They recognize that leadership boils down to their ability to maintain focus on those practice areas which yield the greatest gain: Coaching, Hiring, Assessing, Managing and Planning, an acronym which I have come to call CHAMP. Great leaders are able to rise above the minutia and sustain allocating 80% of their time to these five critical high gain areas. Sadly, my experience is that few are able to sustain more than 15% of their time on these areas.
Let’s look at the components of each of these practice areas in greater detail:
COACHING: Undoubtedly the highest order of human development available to managers. Great managers are able to take a step back from the frenetic pace, sift through the tasks and find ways to continuously coach their people. When asked why they do not coach more, I am told, I do not have the time. My response, “Coaching is not some adjunct part of your job… it IS the Job”
HIRING: Leaders realize that there is no time in their business career when they have more to gain (or lose) than when they are hiring someone. They adhere to stringent guidelines when selecting and evaluating candidates and have learned to avoid six key “Hiring Horrors:”
- Hiring from a position of desperation
- Ill-defined selection criteria
- Superficial questioning techniques
- Too much reliance on the interview
- Bypassing the reference check
- Failure to validate using objective testing
ASSESSING TALENT: The importance of assessing and benchmarking their team is important to leaders. There is a need to know, in a very detailed way, the strengths and weaknesses of their team as a whole, as well as those of the specific individuals who comprise that team. Objective assessments are part of any great manager’s toolkit.
MANAGING: Many managers focus on the final result and leave the daily blocking and tackling to their employees. Unfortunately this approach leaves a large gap between daily activity and an eventual sale, providing enormous pressure (but very little guidance) for the individual. Successful leaders have reverse engineered their goals (quotas) and have established metrics and activity standards (KPI’s) which hold their people to clearly defined activities.
PLANNING: A budget is NOT a plan, however many companies confuse the two. You must have a clearly defined roadmap as to where you are going and then reverse thos objectives into smaller, quantifiable tactical “Chunks”
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