By Kevin Dee
As a leader, whether you run a business, a division within a business or a very small group, you try to improve your situation. It might be trying to improve productivity, increase sales, improve quality, and improve working conditions or any number of things.
The process you will likely go through will involve understanding the current situation. This is best achieved by talking to the people involved, getting their perspectives, thoughts and ideas. No doubt they will differ but that will be for you to sort through.
You will need to understand options. This may take some research, but again the current people may have ideas for options, things they have seen work before. You may have your own experiences to bring. You can get consulting help. You can research what other companies and organizations are doing. You can look for industry best practices.
Then you will likely evaluate those options, perhaps weighing up pros and cons, costs and return on investment, complexity and likelihood of success in your environment.
All of these steps will likely happen with collaboration. There may be a team of people working on the project, or you may be doing it mostly yourself with input from others. Likely that will be dictated by the size of your organization and the complexity of what you are trying to achieve.
Ultimately you will reach a decision about what the solution should be and communicate that to those people responsible for implementing the changes.
Some leaders think that now their job is done… when actually the hard part is just beginning!
Good for you in reaching a decision. You passed a test by doing that, because too many leaders are indecisive. However now it is time to roll the (metaphoric) sleeves up!
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” John Maxwell
Change is hard! You already know it… and maybe you feel that someone else should now implement the change. After all, as the boss, you have handed out the orders!
Welcome to the real world.
If you want your project to succeed you will need to be VERY involved, pushing, pulling, motivating, selling, cajoling, encouraging and yes, rolling up your sleeves doing stuff to ensure its success.
Yes, others will do most of the work. Yes, you should delegate that effort. Yes, you should expect your next level leader to make things happen. However… if you do not stay close enough to (a) ensure things get started right; (b) the project is progressing as planned; and (c) make I clear that YOU own responsibility and accountability for its success… you will be setting yourself up for failure.
Passing a project off to a project manager (who might just have a day job) is a recipe for failure. That project manager needs active executive support (you), someone willing to have their back (you), to make tough decisions that ensure the project happens as it should (you).
Don’t be that leader. The one who thinks that just because they say it, that “it” will happen.
Be accountable. Be involved. Be a leader!
About the Author
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle, one of Canada’s largest professional staffing companies.
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