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Is Your Leadership Team at the Top of Its Game? | Take This Challenge

Your Leadership Team is the linchpin of your success as well as your organization’s.

H ave you taken a close look at the strengths of your Leadership Team? If there are gaps, what are you doing about it?

team

Thermopylae.

Little Big Horn.

Vicksburg.

The Alamo.

For many, these words conjure a spectacle of clubs, spears and cannons … for others a vision of what might have been.

For me, they resound with will, determination and commitment … AND … they are a compelling reminder of how we can apply limited resources to overwhelming challenges.

Sounds like the role of the CEO in today’s demanding economy, doesn’t it … focusing scarce resources on a few critical initiatives?

Is Your Leadership Team up to the Challenge?

Do you recognize that the gaps in your leadership team are the single biggest obstacle to your success?

Think about those times when you feel the least productive or the most stressed, when things aren’t getting done … and you’re picking up the pieces.

Most of us know, deep down, that these issues can be directly traced to the shortcomings of our leadership team and that we bear full responsibility for accepting these limitations.

So, why are we always promoting the importance of being the best … and yet accepting second best from members of our own team?

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. ~ Steve Jobs

What Are You Going to Do About It?

Our biggest problem?

We’re human.

When we see a scratch across the membrane of our leadership team, we’re pretty sure it’s a passing blemish that will go away.

Then, when that little scratch becomes a slight tear, we look a little more closely but, invariably, we conclude it’s minor and with a little touch up, it will go away.

Then, the scratch becomes a small fissure and we look even more closely. There’s some separation among the members, but once again, with a little TLC and a small repair job, it will go away.

When That Fissure Becomes a Crack…

Finally, we begin to see that the scratch … that became a tear … that became a fissure … was symptomatic of the underlying pressures and inefficiencies of our leadership team.

It was a lot easier to ignore when it seemed so minor, but now, as the gap widens and the crack becomes significant, we finally… MAYBE… decide to act.

Even then, our action usually takes the form of a little counseling or a mild rebuke. Maybe a note in a personnel file buried in a cabinet somewhere, but rarely the definitive action that resolves the issue and allows us to move, with our team, to a higher and greater level of performance.

Here’s what I want you to do

wed blog Leadership-Gaps-Scoring-Table1. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper.

2. Write down the name and position of each of your direct reports.

3. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being a perfect score, jot down the number alongside each name that you believe applies to the performance and contribution of that member.

Do it quickly. Be honest and don’t flinch. Don’t overthink it.

Every leader I have worked with can immediately come up with a number that represents their assessment of an individual performer. When I have discussed the results with those leaders after the scoring, and we talk about it in greater detail, the scores rarely diverge from their original number.

4. Total score. For example, if you have 7 direct reports, a perfect score would be 70 (7 X 10). How many points did you tally for your team?

5. Divide the total score by the perfect score. In our simple example, let’s assume that the total for your 7 person leadership team is 53. The fraction of 53/70 equals 75%.

6. Let’s assume we use a simple grading system like we’ve all seen in school, something like this:

7. Your leadership team earns a C+. Are you happy with that grade? I suspect Mom wasn’t.

What Is the Significance of This for Your Organization?

Think about the resulting grade and its significance.

Identify individual performers who are bringing down the total score.

Be thoughtful about what’s missing and begin to lay out a course of action to improve the grade for your Leadership Team.

I will help you get started to do something about it.

If you want to discuss the score, send me an email summary of your results.

I will do my best to schedule a call with you to think together about what course of action might be appropriate for an individual member or your entire team.

When you fix this issue, you’ll be amazed that it will fix a whole bunch of other issues as well.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016.

Question: Are you happy with the results? Did you email them to me so we can discuss an Action Plan? Why not join the conversation and share your thoughts and comments? You can add your message easily by clicking the link to our Facebook Page or @Exkalibur on Twitter. I visit them every day and look forward to discussing these ideas and concepts with you.

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