In recent posts, I’ve explored two great themes that have received a lot of attention on social media. Leaders and managers can benefit from both ideas. Today, we’re going to do a mash-up of the two.
The first topic is “Inspect What You Expect“. It’s about an old piece of sage advice that often gets spoken but can be misunderstood. When you set goals or objectives for your team, you have to follow-up and check up on them.
The other topic is increasing accountability; your personal accountability as well as making those around you be accountable.
If we do the mash-up on these two principles of leadership, you’ll get a much better understanding of a powerful way to get the most from your team.
First, let’s review Expectation Inspection.
Inspect what you expect maybe a bit obvious, yet it is frequently ignored or forgotten by busy managers.
Once you explain your vision for your team and begin plotting the course for what success should look like, you will be tasking members of your team with their own duties and responsibilities.
If you then hide in your office and simply wait for results, you’re going to be disappointed.
You have to mingle within your team, making yourself available to answer clarifying questions, lead people through problem-solving, and guide the effort.
Periodically, you have to simply ask about progress. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Let people tell you whether they have roadblocks or not. Give them the chance to show you the progress they are making.
A few decades ago a popular management theory grew up called “management by walking around”. I still run into managers who were taught that as their primary leadership style.
It sounds great, but it’s too easily misapplied. Just walking the office floor or shop area isn’t enough. It’s what you do out there that makes a difference.
You have to engage with the team. Interact with everyone at all levels. Let them ask you questions.
Good teams set goals and standards. Great teams are accountable for results. It all starts with the leader.
Leaders need to clearly communicate the vision, plan, and expectations. There has to be an understanding of what a win should look like.
If your team is not clear on these basic terms, the leader must do more to provide clarity.
However, once the clarity is understood, everyone on the team, including the leader, must be held accountable for driving toward success.
To understand more about the reasons accountability is so important, refer to this article.
Hand In Hand
Applying both principles creates a big win. By setting the vision and creating standards you now have the measure of success.
But to get there, you have to inspect the very thing you expect. If adjustments are needed, that is the accountability piece.
Holding others accountable, then re-inspecting what you expect assures greater success.
It’s really a cycle that needs to be administered daily if you really want to score high returns.