+61 2 91887292 adam@adamcallender.com

Like watching the highlights of a soccer game, for the drama, fake injuries, refereeing mistakes and goals scored, rather than the whole 80 mins plus.

Many business leaders and owners get caught up giving instructions on daily work.  Often well intended, or living in fear, becoming the bottleneck.  Let’s face it, many of us like to feel we have some control.

Like when we play golf and the tiny white ball does as asked and follows our intended path through the course.

Working in the business, when they would be better working on the business.  Having worked hard to achieve leadership, often starting from scratch, convinced that our approach is unique and critical. Problem being is that not only do we slow down work, accountability and initiative are destroyed in the process.

Empowering others to do their best and figure things out is a healthier situation, where they may run the scenario & proposed solution past the owner/manager to check that they are on the right track.

I always loved talking to members that we employed the complete person, their skillsets, their insights, their understanding so that they could figure out 95—99% of their day job with support.  Which leads me to how we get there.

Expectations

Setting reachable objectives, how to measure, and discussing them with those doing the work.  For example, sales or production targets, cost per night accommodation, DIFOT and accounts receivable.  Making the information easy to find, to see against plan, with agreed review intervals, like daily, weekly or monthly.

Tracking

Measuring performance to see whether results show that individuals and teams are achieving agreed targets.  Automated reports generated by middleware software can be really helpful.

The best situation I enjoyed was where the daily reports came to my inbox every morning at 6am, checking them over breakfast, before commuting to meetings or the office.

Issues

Reviewing to determine where performance may miss the mark, if not there is no need for action.  If issues are evident, they can immediately be discussed to understand the reasons.  Sorting them into – in our control and out of our control – maybe helpful.

Corrective Action

Investigating and deciding how to resolve, as there could be a multitude of reasons.  Denial is not one of them.  Confronting and discussing how problems can be fixed and taking action.  If you have a board or a boss, potentially letting them know what the issues are and what is being done.

Ignorance is usually no excuse, having a finger on the pulse of the key measurements shows stakeholders that attention is being paid and ideally there is a commitment to performance and understanding how work is done effectively and what factors impact it.

Finally

The main concern I have with management by exception is that it isn’t recommended in a crisis.  Also, it doesn’t mean that we should not recognise all the improvements, the successes and progress being made.

To be thanked for a job well done is almost universally appreciated.

Photo: Pete Wright on Unsplash

Credit: I would like to recognise the work of Sonia Pearson, who was one of the few authors on this topic, heling me to compare my ideas on this topic.

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