It’s ironic that when leaders become stressed and busy, they forget to use the one tool in their managerial toolbox that will unbury them the quickest: Leverage.
I was speaking to the a president of a family business recently who said: “When my dad retired, he just walked away. This one Monday, he didn’t show up. Again, on Tuesday, no dad. Then Wednesday, another no show. Totally unlike him. Finally, on Thursday, I called him and said, ‘So, are you coming in… Read more »
Arguably, the president is the most important position in an organization, responsible for overall performance and guiding the strategic direction of the firm. Of any, surely this position ought to have a written description of how to accomplish these duties. However, if the company is not public and has no board of directors, it is unlikely the president will have one. Why is a simple, written job description of what the company’s leader does for a living so elusive?
Upward delegation occurs when work gets pushed up to the highest level in the organization that will accept it. Are your senior people frequently stepping in to “save the day”? Are deadlines missed while juniors wait for approvals? Are you hearing complaints of boredom from your staff while you are running around with your hair straight back? It could be that work is being delegated up.
A job description defines, in writing, a person’s duties, authorities (tasks they can do without asking permission first), performance criteria, and the qualifications for the role. There are many benefits to using job descriptions, so why do so many small businesses operate without them?
Is it possible to change the behavior of Pete the Promiser? You know Pete. He’s the guy that tells you he’ll get the job done by a certain deadline but never does. He doesn’t warn you that he’s going to be late. He doesn’t even realize he didn’t do it until you ask him for it. And when you do, he’s got an excuse. If you point out the excuse is a lame one, he’ll either get angry at you (the best defense is a good offence) or he’ll take full responsibility “Yes, my bad. I’m so sorry.” Then he’ll turn around and do the same darn thing next week.