Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Set clear direction
When you are in a leadership role it is incumbent on you to set the direction for your team.  You have all heard the old adage that “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” A lack of direction on your part is a sure recipe for a lack of accomplishment.  On the other hand a clear, concise, measurable direction will put your team on a path for success.

Communication of direction is every leader’s responsibility. Start by explaining the organization’s overall mission and then dive into the direction for your unit. Be as clear as you can and then lead a discussion that includes questions so that you clear up any potential misunderstanding. Next, be repetitious - talk about the direction twice as often as you think you should.  The more clearly your team understands the goals the more likely they will help you achieve and the more likely they will add their own ideas that in many cases could improve the outcome.

Everyone wants to be a winner so report the results to the team.  The more measurements the better. “When I see myself as winning I will work that much harder.”  Leaders set clear direction, communicate regularly, listen carefully and report the results to the team.

Posted on 05/22/2013 10:06 AM by Joe Scarlett
Thursday, 16 May 2013
Coach your team (and everyone else)

When you are old and gray and look back on your career you will take the most pride in those you helped in their careers.  So try to put coaching on the front burner, not the back burner.  The same principle pertains to your family – spend time coaching your children because they are the ones you want to be most proud of.

Share your experiences – the good ones and the bad ones.  Conclude each coaching session with a discussion of the lessons you learned.  Telling real life stories is the best way to teach and coach those you are trying to develop.

When I worked at Tractor Supply I spent a big portion of my time on the road visiting stores with District Mangers and others. After each store visit we would recap that store and then move along to the next store which gave me time in the car to coach.  We did the same at lunch and dinner.  I took great pride in asking questions, telling stories and generally helping to build the skills of our leaders.

Leaders develop leaders and a conscious effort at coaching your stars will pay huge personal dividends.

Posted on 05/16/2013 10:01 AM by Joe Scarlett
Friday, 3 May 2013
Negotiate but never compromise on your values

Life at work is full of negotiations with your boss, your employees and your peers over a whole variety of issues – some consequential and some not. In addition we seem to always be in some sort of negotiations with members of our family and particularly those closest to us.   It is a matter of give and take sometimes capitulating 100% and sometimes not at all. We all try to stake out the position we feel best about based on our unique experiences.

The one topic on which you should never negotiate is your values. If you know something is ethically, morally or legally wrong the time for negotiation is over. Bending the principles will get you in trouble every time.  You can negotiate most anything but never compromise on your values.

Posted on 05/03/2013 12:37 PM by Joe Scarlett
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