Getting Results In Difficult Times: Clear Objective

Courageously declare your intended objective.

What are you aiming for?  What are you asking your team to accomplish?  Can you state the objective in one simple sentence?

For example, when Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air, he simply described it as, “The world’s thinnest notebook.”

The primary task of the leader in difficult times is to clear away the clutter and noise so people can concentrate on the goal.  The best way to silence the noise is to go on record with a bold objective that will demand the complete concentration of your team to accomplish it.

Once the objective has been set, remind everyone daily and explain why it’s critical to the future of your firm every chance you get.


Showing The Way

…is almost always more effective than giving directives.

The best way to motivate your people toward generating more business is to lead by example.  What’s on your calendar?

If you’re not devoting a significant amount of time meeting with clients, your people may have a hard time taking you serious next time you ask them to sell more. People must see you take personal action for growing the business before they can hear you.


Gaining Commitment At The Operational Level

Young professionals are quick to suspect the worst when leadership stumbles on people issues.  Here are five ways to build trust and gain commitment.

1.  Recognize effort and achievement. Recognition means different things to different people.  For some, recognition means public awards and praise; for others its just knowing they’ve gained your approval; and the ultimate recognition, being given the opportunity to achieve.  Ask your professionals how they prefer to be recognized.

2.  Create an environment of growth and personal responsibility. Every human being wants to shape  their own destiny and work on assignments they believe in.  The best recognition is acknowledging this desire in others and helping them tap into it through one on one sincere discussions about what is important to them (do not feel obligated to provide resources you do not have access to).

3.  Look up from your work and make eye contact with the person speaking to you. The highest respect one individual can give to another is the courtesy of listening with the eyes.  This communicates respect and builds trust.

4.  Give credit where it is due and to the person to whom it is due immediately. This is done with a proactive, going out of your way effort…across positional boundaries…. to give a sincere personal, “Thank you for a job well done.”

5.  Share and Tell Success Stories. This can be done in group meetings, casual hallway conversations, by email or by establishing a formal monthly process where you and your team selects someone who did something exceptional in client service, team support or went the extra mile in effort.  Write a brief Success Story about the person, the situation and their accomplishment or outcome achieved.