Saturday, March 19, 2011

Leaders make the tough choices

Too often we see leaders who seem to be bumbling along and look to be doing a good job while everything is rosy. Are you like that? I hope not! As the leaders of our teams its important for us to be ready to step in at any stage and make the tough decisions to keep our team focused on the end goal.

Often if you ask why did poor leaders fail to make these tough decisions the answer is likely to be one of the following: I'm afraid I'll loose this worker, I might upset the team, I know it will come good on its own accord.  These are nonsense excuses, if your output is below expectations or customer service and quality is being affected then you MUST step in a make the tough call to get things back on track.

How can you prepare for this? Firstly you need to keep your ear to the ground and know what's going on. Is output on track? Is customer service the absolute best? Is the product quality flawless. Continual monitoring of your outputs will tell you the moment something is turning sour.

Do you know your people? I don't mean are they your friends, I mean do you know what makes them tick, what are their strong and weak points, is there any big thing happening in their lives.

If you know the info then you're ready to make these tough calls. Your imperative here is to keep the team strong and with it your team's productivity. If that means you lose someone along the way because they are not performing properly then so be it. If you have been cross-training your team members with all the different tasks your team complete, then you may take a short-term hit on productivity while you find a replacement.

If you're prepared to step in and make the tough decisions early, your team will have great performance and your team members will know exactly what you stand for, and that you are prepared to act for the good of the team. Great leaders look to the team and its combined work together as the ultimate in performance.

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