Critical Activities as a Leader
No matter what your role is, there will be core activities that you must focus on that will provide you with the results you need to achieve. If you’re not sure what those activities are, make a list of the things you feel you need to accomplish in a month. For each of those activities on the list, link it through to a key measure or KPI (key performance indicator) that you are measured on in your role. Those activities that lead directly to a KPI or key measure that you have responsibility for are the critical activities you must do.
Don’t discount areas though that you find difficult to link through to the measures. For example, coaching your team may not be a direct measure you are given as a KPI but if you don’t coach them, then their performance is likely to drop off or not improve. Believe the fact that whatever your team are measured on, that’s where their focus will be so long as there are consequences in place for poor or non-performance.
There are many areas you can focus on - here are four examples to help your team achieve and perform well, namely: Give direction, coach, monitor and recognise.
This means that you are talking to your team regularly and frequently about what is happening, targets, goals, performance and about improvements that can be made. People want to be kept informed and clear, open communication falls under this vital component of a leader’s responsibility. Tell people what’s going on and help them have no doubt as to what they need to do and how it fits in the bigger picture.
Coaching is an essential component of leading and allows you to reinforce desired behaviours and embed them as normal into the team. Remember that good coaches aren’t just watching the scoreboard – they watch the game as well. Some days the scoreboard just won’t reflect the effort and the performance. You need to watch both! This means that you need to observe your team members in action and provide effective feedback on the behaviours you see. Coaching can be rewarding for both you and your team members. Learn good coaching skills as it will have the biggest impact on your team.
You need to be able to track the progress of your team. Be careful here though and monitor only those areas that are really important. Remember that what we measure we focus on. Review what you’re measuring regularly. If you don’t know why you are measuring something find out why the measure is there in the first place. If nobody knows, it’s probably not worth measuring. If it’s not having an impact on the business or the team, why bother? When performance is measured, performance increases. When it’s reported on, the rate of improvement actually accelerates, so make sure you report back on those measures.
People like to receive recognition. It doesn’t matter if they are just doing their job - reinforce the performance by recognising it. Make sure though that however you choose to recognise someone, you do so in a way that’s desired by the recipient. Use recognition early when you are trying to instil new behaviours as it will encourage the continuation of those behaviours. Ensure that you are sincere and avoid overdoing it as it will become diluted. Consider recognition when people consistently perform at a high standard, when they exceed your expectations, go above and beyond, or when you feel they need a bit more motivation.
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