We are starting the second quarter of 2013. Hopefully
you have a good start on your goals and objectives
for this year. Be sure to share your victories and
accomplishments with your team, your family and your
coach. Now is good time to stop and reflect and determine
what you need to more of and what you need to do less
of. Plan the second quarter with enthusiasm and excitement.
Here is a The Leaders
Checklist to create a clear roadmap for navigating
A Dashboard for Managing Complexity
Businesses are becoming more complex. Its harder to
predict outcomes because intricate systems interact in unexpected
Staying on track is much easier with a guide or checklist.
Michael Useem, a professor at The Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of The
Leadership Moment, has published The Leaders Checklist
to create a clear roadmap for navigating any situation.
It is presented here in condensed form, with sample questions
accompanying each principle:
Not all of these questions are applicable to every situation,
but it is the questioning that counts.
- Articulate a Vision: Formulate
a clear and persuasive vision, and communicate why its
important to all members of the enterprise.
a. Do my direct reports see the forest, as well as
b. Does everyone in the firm know not only where we
but, most importantly, why?
c. Is the destination compelling and appealing?
- Think and Act Strategically:
Make a practical plan for achieving this vision, including
both short- and long-term strategies. Anticipate reactions
and resistance before they happen by considering all
a. Do we have a realistic plan for creating short-term
results, as well
as mapping out the future?
b. Have we considered all stakeholders and anticipated
c. Has everyone bought into, and does everyone understand,
firms competitive strategy and
value drivers? Can they explain it
- Express Confidence: Provide
frequent feedback to express appreciation for the support
of those who work with and for you.
a. Do the people you work with know you respect and
talents and efforts?
b. Have you made it clear that their upward guidance
c. Is there a sense of engagement on the frontlines,
with a minimum of “us” vs. “them” mentality?
- Take Charge and Act Decisively:
Embrace a bias for action by taking responsibility,
even if it isn’t formally delegated. Make good and timely
decisions, and ensure they are executed.
a. Are you prepared to take charge, even when you
are not in
b. If so, do you have the capacity and position to
responsibility? c. For technical decisions,
are you ready to
delegate, but not abdicate?
d. Are most of your decisions both good and timely?
e. Do you convey your strategic intent and then let
their own decisions?
- Communicate Persuasively: Communicate
in ways that people will not forget, through use of
personal stories and examples that back up ideas. Simplicity
and clarity are critical.
a. Are messages about vision, strategy and character
b. Have you mobilized all communication channels,
personal to social media?
c. Can you deliver a compelling speech before the
the 10th floor?
- Motivate the Troops, and Honor the
Front Lines: Appreciate the distinctive intentions
that people bring to their work; build on diversity
to bring out the best in people. Delegate authority
except for strategic decisions. Stay close to those
who are most directly engaged with the enterprise’s
a. Have you identified each person’s “hot button”
and focused on it?
b. Do you work personal pride and shared purpose into
c. Are you keeping some ammunition dry for those urgent
when you need it?
d. Have you made your intent clear and empowered those
e. Do you regularly meet with those in direct contact
f. Can your people communicate their ideas and concerns
- Build Leadership in Others, and Plan
for Succession: Develop leadership throughout
the organization, giving people opportunities to make
decisions, manage others and obtain coaching.
a. Are all managers expected to build leadership among
b. Does the company culture foster the effective exercise
c. Are leadership development opportunities available
to most, if
not all, managers?
- Manage Relations, and Identify Personal
Implications: Build enduring personal ties with
those who work with you, and engage the feelings and
passions of the workplace. Help people appreciate the
impact that the vision and strategy are likely to have
on their own work and the firm’s future.
a. Is the hierarchy reduced to a minimum, and does
bad news travel
b. Are managers self-aware and empathetic?
c. Are autocratic, egocentric and irritable behaviors
d. Do employees appreciate how the firm’s vision and
affect them individually?
e. What private sacrifices will be necessary for achieving
f. How will the plan affect people’s personal livelihood
quality of their work lives?
- Convey Your Character: Through
storytelling, gestures and genuine sharing, ensure that
others appreciate that you are a person of integrity.
a. Have you communicated your commitment to performance
b. Do others know you as a person? Do they know your
- Dampen Over-Optimism: To balance
the hubris of success, focus attention on latent threats
and unresolved problems. Protect against managers’ tendency
to engage in unwarranted risk.
a. Have you prepared the organization for unlikely,
b. Do you celebrate success, but also guard against
of excess confidence?
c. Have you paved the way not only for quarterly results,
- Build a Diverse Top Team: Although
leaders take final responsibility, leadership is most
effective when there is a team of capable people who
can collectively work together to resolve key challenges.
Diversity of thinking ensures better decisions.
a. Have you drawn quality performers into your inner
b. Are they diverse in expertise, but united in purpose?
c. Are they as engaged and energized as you?
- Place Common Interest First:
In setting strategy, communicating vision and reaching
decisions, common purpose comes first and personal self-interest
a. In all decisions, have you placed shared purpose
ahead of private
b. Do the firm’s vision and strategy embody the organization’s
c. Are you thinking like a president or chief executive,
even if you
are not one?
Whether you are facing a typical day at the office or
walking into a crisis, ask yourself and others these questions
to inspire correct actions. Only then can you make sense
of the complexities you encounter.
Thanks for your time and your interest.
Please forward this to friends and family.
If you know of anyone who would like to experience what coaching
is and how coaching can help you achieve your goals and objectives,
please have them contact me. I would love to provide a couple
of free coaching sessions and then help them find a coach.
this to one of your friends, so they can become a subscriber
by going to my web site
coachpinney.com and signing up.
For the last twenty-two
years Jerry Pinney has been president of his own consulting firm.
Currently he focuses his efforts on providing executive and personal
coaching to persons who are interested in improving their quality
of life and consulting to small and mid-sized companies and nonprofits.
He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with The Alternative
Board and is a Certified One Page Planning Consultant. Jerry has
over three decades of experience in the food industry, and possesses
a unique perspective of customer service, marketing and strategic
planning. In addition to overall general management qualifications,
Jerry has proven expertise in operational planning and business
development. His food industry career started at Jewel Food Stores
followed by a long career with IGA, with their retailers, wholesalers
and ten years as Vice President of Marketing. In addition Jerry
has served as Vice President of Membership for the National Grocers
Association, Sr. Vice President of Procurement for Shurfine International
and Executive Manager of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.
Jerry has also served on a number of nonprofit
boards including: President of the Volunteer Center of Northwest
Suburban Chicago. He is currently a Project Manager for the Executive
Service Corps of Chicago. Jerrys ESC assignments have included
coaching for several Executive Directors, and consulting on various
Board Development projects and on a number of strategic planning
Pinney & Associates
102 East 32nd Street
e-mail me by clicking here