First, a brainstorming session between the Leader and their Supervisor
- Define the “True North” – what is your organization or team’s ultimate goal (the destination of the “Flight Plan”), and what is the Leader’s role in achieving that?
- Then using Word or Excel make a checklist divided into sections for Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly “things to do”. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it should be “yours” so you’ll use it comfortably.
- Then, start with the big stuff: make a list of big objectives that you, as Leader, need to accomplish Quarterly and Monthly. What activities are required to meet these objectives: daily, weekly, monthly? Write them down in the appropriate section of your checklist.
- Now, go small. On a daily basis, what leadership actions do you want to assure you take to be a great leader. Michael Rona (Rona Consulting) suggests these may include:
- Dedicated time each day on the unit or project site, not in your office.
- Observing the “work flow” of others and helping identify bottlenecks.
- Mentoring the staff’s search for Root Cause of problems or bottlenecks.
- Recognizing the good work of staff.
- Then step up to Weekly standard work. This may include standing meetings (do you really need to be in all of them?), reviewing reports, monitoring budgets.
- Finally back up to Monthly. Anything you missed? This first pass doesn’t have to be complete. Just a good start.
Review the Plan
- How does the checklist look? Too many items? Too few? You want to make this a real, manageable and helpful tool to keep you focused daily on the things that you as Leader truly need to do to lead. (The distractions will take care of themselves.)
- Now, re-evaluate your checklist from the perspective of “Essentialism”. What things are truly “essential” to you being a great Leader? Any of the activities you’ve added to your checklist that are NOT essential, should be removed. You can’t do everything.
- Print the checklist (or keep it handy electronically, however you work best). Keep it on your desk or wall or wherever it will get “in your face” several times a day.
- Work it. Many of the most effective leaders block time in their schedule to accomplish the things in the checklist.
- Check it off. Give yourself a sense of accomplishment.
Check in, and Adjust
- After a month, check in with yourself. How’s the list working? Make necessary adjustments.
- Quarterly. What have you added and deleted to trim your “Flight Plan” to the essentials that make you a great Leader?
- Have you included your own training for expanding your Leadership Skills? We have some ideas for that.