As my HR mentor used to say, it begins and ends with leadership. Although we’ve certainly talked about this topic before, it is worth it to dedicate time to it again. After all, results follow leaders.
The leader sets the tone and direction. As consultants, we find that we can make good progress, no matter the leader; however, there is ZERO doubt the progress will be much quicker with a solid leader supporting our initiative. This has occurred 100% of the time! For example, we are currently working with a client that would like to improve service levels to its customers. We were making progress regardless; however, we moved into high gear with leadership focus. Think of it as pushing a boulder up hill. Assuming you have some athletic ability, you’ll eventually push the boulder up the hill if it is important enough; however, if you have the “right” leaders in place, it feels like you go from pushing a boulder uphill to giving it a small tap downhill. That boulder will ACCELERATE and build momentum – success follows.
Instead of thinking you’ll “get to” talking to your key resources “when time is available”, MAKE the time. Don’t focus all of your attention on poor performers. Dedicate at least equal time – if not more time – to high performers and your success will gain steam. Remember the basics such as performance management. Recognize progress and results. Appreciate your top performers. Undoubtedly, you’ll be thrilled you did.