Contract & Govern

Tool

Summary

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 these slides 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.

The leader first gets clear about what is needed from each person on the team. For each team member, the leader sets up a one-on-one conversation to relate what the team is counting on from her/him. The leader should be certain that what is said is really what is meant and that s/he thinks the person is able to do what it is the group requires; and then ask the person to repeat back what they were told to be sure s/he has it right; and then ask to verify s/he really does want to do it and that s/he believes s/he has the ability do it.

Once there is agreement between the leader and the team member on whatwant, and ability, then there is essentially a verbal contract for the team member to do what is asked. The leader then must ensure that the team member has the resources (such as: time, training, people, money, texts, and advisers) needed for success.

Finally, the leader must make it worth the team members while to succeed such as by providing praise, a bonus, a promotion, or a trip upon successful completion.

Leaders should set regular (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly) time to talk one-on-one with each direct report. Schedule in a time-slot that is easy to keep; e.g., 7:30 am every other Monday. Keep the time more often than not. Reschedule if necessary but commit to it. It is OK if takes less time than scheduled. Any savings will be much welcome found-time. Have no other agenda and do not meet over lunch; though lunches together are good to have. The team member prepares and presents to the leader in up to one hour:

Failure to follow the governing steps above is a recipe for calamity!

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