There was kind of a bigger discussion this week at work with regards to leadership and, more importantly, its execution.
You see, “goal-oriented” is one of those words that people like to spit out like it’s their own invention whilst letting their [bad] instincts strive, not achieving anything (much less what they wanted).
Every action should start with the question as to why you are taking such action. In this case, getting my 20 year-old-nice-sometimes arrogant-sometimes lazy-and-usually very disorganized guys to work more effectively.
Shortly before my vacation about two weeks ago, I tried to put one such action in motion. Tickets were high, quality wasn’t checked, guy ls were taking ninety minute lunch breaks and, basically, not giving a flying shit about me. Without going too much into detail, I got pissed off in an unscheduled meeting with the crew and yelled qt then as a team (never individually). This came from the same guy who was looking for Wingmen and other 80’s movie references to keep motivation high.
Then I went on vacation… During the vacation I could see no change in performance (not a workaholic, just curious and smart to get a report I can read in 2 minutes sent to my mobile).
And then it got me thinking…
I had two weeks of good wine, beaches, nice friends and Dale Carneghy’s “How to make friends and influence people” in my Kindle to realize one thing: not only was my reaction not based on taking action towards achieving my goal, I had completely lost focus as to what that goal, or THESE goals, were!
Basically, I want my guys to work autonomously so that I can find time for my other tasks and go home on time. They need to follow a cup of basic guidelines and report should something stray from the path. The problem was that they were doing neither and. What’s worse, the times I got results, they were only short-term.
So I got back and, as with every Monday, I sat down with everybody to plan them for the week. Long-term planing here, tasks there and then, round-table where all, from intern to senior-programmer could give their input on what the division needs as well as what I could offer them.
Response was FANTASTIC!
Through some calendar entries, I gained more trust from my guys and expected better results throughout the week. It is a system that needs constant fine-tuning and a little patience (it just feels good to yell at people sometimes), but it is definitely better than rebooting the system on a weekly basis.
Maintaining such a status is a little harder than that… And that is a whole other post: using the aforementioned tools to maintain your people organized.