Leadership means leading people
Recently a manager in an interim management project asked me: “Why do my people not do what they get paid for”? I looked at him and asked him: „Do they know what they get paid for“? He quickly responded that all the people have job descriptions and they have signed them by starting their work.
I said to him, he should provide me a list with the problems in his department and hand over the job descriptions to me.
After I received this information I went to his department and start to talk with the employees.
A big problem in his department was that they just can’t manage to keep all the timelines. They had a lot of different timelines for different activities in the department.
So I started to go through the different activities to find out why they are not finished in time.
At the end I got a list with the following reasons sorted by incidence:
Missing or late decision by the manager
Missing or insufficient communication with other departments
To less capacity (system support, workforce)
Wrong priorities given by the management
Mistakes by employees
All the people in the department were frustrated about that, although they are all rather new in the company. So for me it was total clear that the manager of the department needs to take a new responsibility – the leadership of the people!
In accordance with the short version of the scientific definition of leadership - leadership is a process of social influence which maximizes efforts of others towards achievement of a goal – for this department it was absolutely necessary that the manager takes the leadership and help the employees to achieve their goals.
I talked to him about my findings and we together set up a plan for development:
He has to take the responsibility that decisions should be done in time if possible
As leader of the department he has to clarify the communication with other departments
He should be aware that for every task there must be enough human or system capacity and take care of the capacity planning in accordance with his employees
He should coordinate the priorities
If someone made a mistake he should discuss it with the employee and look for improvement and set up an improvement plan
With this actions his transformation from a manager to a leader started.
Now – only 3 month after this intervention, they manage to hit more than 90% of their timelines and the employees are less frustrated.
If your employees don’t achieve their goals think how you can help them to achieve their goals and you will become a leader
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