Sunday, June 1, 2008

Leadership and the Art of Anticipation

Over lunch last week a good friend was discussing his new boss of some twelve months, he commented he rarely heard much input from his boss until things were going bad and then there would be a flurry of information and directions.

As the story went on it became a story I've heard in quite a few workplaces, the boss was trying to work across so many areas he inevitably ignored some aspects of the business until things were about to explode, then he would come in swinging left and right barking commands at anyone within earshot. At this all the workers would spring off in another direction and busily work towards this new direction. I asked my friend if this had a positive result and the customers were happy with the renewed effort and activity. His reply didn't surprise me when he said the customers ended up confused. Why had there been an effort for the past so many weeks in this direction and now it was focused in another direction.

It was with interest he went on to say that the workers in his section were happy the boss had set some clear direction, although they were not happy about the timing. "We knew this was about to happen" was the cry. We are forced to treat everyone the same and not examine their particular needs and then when a customer clearly states these needs, they feel they have been ignored and things get ugly.

So it seems although there were clear indicators of what the request was, there was a lack of anticipation of when to rally the team and modify the directions to make our customer truly happy and satisfied.

As we have discussed before good leaders need to present a clear vision to their team on what the outcome is and how the team will get there. The really good leaders anticipate any changes or modifications that need to be made along the way. Keep an eye on the situation, your team members and anticipate what would/could go right or wrong and what could be better.

Anticipation is like planning the more we force ourselves to do it the more we can take small steps to correct the work and get the best output.

No comments:

Post a Comment