Monday, February 28, 2011

Your calendar says a lot……

Time seems to always be in short supply for the senior executive. 

“If I had more time I could spend it with my people.” 

“Of course it would be great to visit that facility, but I just don’t have the time.”  

No doubt, when you are leading an organization, everyone needs you and your time is under constant pressure.

One of the simplest ways to get a handle on your time is to put two documents in front of you: your calendar and your business goals.  

Look closely at every appointment that found its way onto your calendar for the next four weeks.

How well do these meetings, calls, and other obligations match up with achieving your business goals? 

Do they have a close “line of sight” or do you have to talk yourself into making them relevant? 

To be sure, if you don’t have time to develop your people, something is probably out of whack.  

What could be more important?
Your calendar is all about your priorities.  

Don’t be a victim by letting others decide what is relevant to your mission.  Continually ask the question, “How does this specific time allocation relate to hitting my business goals?”  

By using this filter and allocating your time accordingly, you’ll be ensuring that time truly is on your side.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feedback is Fuel

We have all heard broadcasters, media moguls, and actors of every stripe discuss the importance of ratings.  With the proliferation of media options this has become even more important.

For a broadcaster, ratings are the scorecard.  Without constant ratings feedback, there is no way to know how well a show has been received by the audience. Certainly the advertisers who are paying big bucks for a brief commercial want to know about ratings.

As a business leader, you should think about your ratings.  

Are you receiving high quality, regular feedback on your performance?  If not, why not?  Could you be preventing feedback from getting to you by your actions and behavior?   In other words, are the people around you comfortable giving you candid feedback?  Do they feel they can without paying a price? (And by the way, I am really not talking about the typical annual performance appraisal. By the time you get that feedback, it’s often too late.)

We can prevent feedback from getting to us simply by sending signals (consciously or unconsciously) that we don’t want to hear it.  Consider facial expressions and other non-verbal ques.  Of course, biting someone’s head off is another way to shut down the feedback pipeline.

What happens? 

You hear little or nothing about how you are doing from those who matter most.  This is like having a TV show without ratings. How can you be effective if you don’t know how your audience is feeling about you?

Frequent high quality feedback is like rocket fuel. 
Feedback enables course corrections, reduces errors in judgment, and stimulates performance.  In other words, it makes you better.  Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.  

How good is the quality of the feedback you’ve been getting lately?