Category Archives: Focus

Act intentionally, persist variously.

How to make sure every top team member does one thing right.

CEOs should consider the following when assigning tasks to leadership team members:

  • Members of the leadership team are likely to be the most capable people in the organization and therefore among the most important to deploy optimally.
  • Each needs to be especially clear about what is most important for them to do and then spend the lion-share of their time doing it.

Role Clarity

The CEO of a successful organization ensures that they have an inner circle of leaders,   or Core Leadership Team, who are individually and collectively clear about their relative strengths and on what the group counts on from each of them to be successful.

The exercise below is a structured and straightforward way to make expectations explicit Continue reading Role Clarity

Personal Alignment

Great leaders learn what each direct report likes to do and what s/he is good at doing in order to help each decide to want to do what s/he is good at and likes doing. It is worth the considerable effort and thoughtful analysis required because it increases the odds of executive engagement, happiness, and high-performance .

How to line up what a worker is good at

Many people want to do something different than what they like and what they are good at because they believe others think that something else is more valued. Continue reading Personal Alignment

How to contract and govern for success with each team member.

Contract and Govern
Click for a PDF slide deck on how to Contract & Govern for success.

One of a leader’s most important jobs is to get and stay clear about what it is that s/he is counting on from each team member. Once the leader is clear, the message must be communicated to each team member. Often, leaders fail to engage in a rich communication along these lines, apparently because they assume that team members are somehow supposed to figure out for themselves exactly what is expected.

The steps presented in the slides available by clicking the above icon and in the following text make explicit a conversation that otherwise plays-out inside of the heads of those involved. When the conversation is explicit the leader and team member get on the same page and dramatically increase the odds of high-performance and fulfilled expectations.

Continue reading How to contract and govern for success with each team member.

Alternatives to a COO.

Responsibilities shouldered by the Chief Executive Officer (a.k.a.: CEO, Managing Partner, Managing Director, or Executive Director) of a successful venture increase with growth in scale and complexity. The tension between the need to get things done, get others to do things, bridge the “white space” between organization units, and to represent the organization externally (e.g. to customers, investors, partners, suppliers, etc.) eventually reaches a breaking point.

Most, especially first time CEOs, get the idea to install a Chief Operating Officer (COO) as it seems an obvious way to spread the workload and ease the burden.

Continue reading Alternatives to a COO.