Category Archives: Focus

Act intentionally, persist variously.

How to set up and run an Executive Incentive Compensation Program.

Each year, a well-run organization’s leadership completes a planning and budgeting process.  Achievement of the resulting annual business plan is dependent on each organizational unit meeting or exceeding its established goals as part of that plan. This requires that individual leaders take ownership of their part of the plan.

The objective of the Executive Incentive Compensation Program (EICP) is to allow executives who meet or exceed annual performance goals, both financial and non-financial, to participate in the organization’s overall success.  The more a given individual or group is responsible for the organization’s success, the greater their share of participation in the rewards.  Participation in the program is an important career milestone.


Executives with significant scope and scale of responsibility for achieving an identifiable portion of the organization’s financial plan and who are, and who are expected to continue to be, employees in good standing are eligible to participate in the program.  All staff proposed for inclusion are reviewed and approved by the Core Leadership Group.

Participation is not required.  Continue reading How to set up and run an Executive Incentive Compensation Program.

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.