Mentor Moment #7: Inspect what you Expect


Leaders develop vision for their business and plans to make those visions a reality. You have spent a considerable amount of thought time on that vision, you developed a road map on how to get there, you wrote a plan, and now you have asked your team to execute. Why do CEO’s list; “finding out months latter my team was not following the plan” as one of their top five concerns? Because they failed to: inspect what they expect to happen.

What I am saying is communicate the vision and the plan and establish key performance indicators that your team reports on frequently. What I am not saying is Micro manage your team. (You will just drive them nuts and the good ones will join another team)jump ship

When you inspect what you expect, you know quickly who is on board, who is trying to get on board and who fell overboard and you lost them (with time to still recue them).

I’ve fallen into the leadership trap of thinking once I set a course like Captain Picard on Star Trek and say “make it so” that everyone immediately falls inline and starts executing. About six months into serving a new company I had a rude awakening that 50% of my team had not executed the strategy we launched months ago and upon further investigation one of the leading reasons why is they did not fully understand it, and more important did not see the map to commissions that other activates they were currently doing much more clearly presented. I was new to this team, and I later learned that the management team at this organization had a history of kicking off initiatives and if they failed to stick moved on to the next one(s). So this team was trained to; wait and see if this imitative sticks before acting.

Once we established key performance indicators that tied to initiatives, I no longer had the surprises that team members were not on board, and I had time to pull team members back quickly when they started to veer off course or pull them back in if they fell overboard.

Today you can even buy software that does what I described above. I recently attended a webinar by a company; Keyne Insight that has developed performance execution software that provides leaders and managers up to the minute snap shots of activities their team is doing or not doing so you are equipped to inspect what you expect. I am sure there are others in this space too, but I was intrigued by how far technology has come to help leaders insure the road maps they took so much thought developing are being executed.

How do you insure your team is following the plan?

Do you have KPI’s that tie to your vision and plan?

As a leader have you ever “Launched” only to find mid voyage you left your team on the dock?

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