The Right Strategy Approach

Great teams implement the right strategy, with the right people in the right way. This is more likely to produce the right results.

Imagine you are leading the team you work in at the moment. Let’s explore how you can pursue these themes in your own way.

The Right Strategy

Such teams clarify which mountain they want to climb. They also make sure they are climbing the right mountain. They sometimes do this by taking the following steps. 

They clarify their strengths;

They clarify their perfect customers and the challenges such people they face; 

They clarify how they can use their strengths to help their customers to achieve success.

Great teams clarify the possible strategies – the routes forward – they can pursue in the future. They clarify the pluses and minuses of each route together with the attractiveness of each option.

After a period of reflection, they settle on their chosen strategy. Such teams complete the following exercise.

Good leaders often communicate this strategy to their people. Why? The employees must be able to explain to new joiners why the team has chosen to pursue a specific strategy.

Such leaders also communicate the game plan. They explain the What, Why, How, Who and When by covering the following points.

The What. The specific goals
we are aiming to achieve are:

*

* 

*

The Why. The specific benefits
of achieving the goals will be:

* 

*

* 

The How. The key strategies we
will follow to achieve the goals are:

*

*

*

Looking at the team you work in at the moment, to what extent do you believe it has the right strategy? Rate this on a scale 0 – 10. What are the specific things it can do to maintain or improve this score? 

The Right Strategy

The extent to which I believe
the team has the right strategy is: 

___ / 10 

The specific things we can do to
maintain or improve the rating are:

* 

*

* 

The specific benefits of
taking these steps will be:

*

*

*

 

The Right People

Great teams employ people who have the right attitude and ability. They then put these people in the places where they are most likely to deliver the right results.

There are many models for getting the right people. The following pages explore some of these approaches.

The Positive, Professional
And Peak Performers Approach

Imagine that you lead your present team. What are the qualities you want your people to demonstrate?

One approach is to employ people who aim to be positive, professional and peak performers. Let’s explore how you can identify whether the people in your team demonstrate these qualities.

Positive

Start by looking at each person in your team or those you want to hire. Ask yourself the following questions.

Do they have a positive attitude? Do they generate positive energy? Do they encourage other people? How do people feel after meeting them?

Do they take responsibility? Do they use volunteer language, saying that they want to make things happen? Or do they use victim language, saying that things happen to them?

Do they look for positive solutions to challenges? When appropriate, do they try to find win-win solutions to conflicts? Are they resilient? Do they rebound from setbacks?

On a scale 0 – 10, to what extent would I rate the person as being positive: a) towards customers; b) towards colleagues?

Some employees can behave superbly with customers, for example, but may be difficult with colleagues. Great team members recognise that it is important to be positive with both groups.

Looking at each person in turn, rate them in both areas. Then describe what they can do to maintain or improve the ratings. Here is the exercise on this theme.

Positive

The name of the person is …

The extent to which the person is positive
towards customers and colleagues is:

Customers ___ / 10  

Colleagues ___ / 10

The specific things the person can do
to maintain or improve the ratings are: 

*

*

*

Professional

Being positive is a good start, but it is also important for the team members to be competent. They need to support other people and deliver high professional standards.

Bearing this in mind, look at each person in turn and ask the following questions.

Do they behave professionally? Are they customer focused? Do they deliver good service to their external and internal customers? Do they produce good quality work?

Are they self-managing? Are they proactive? Do they make clear contracts with people? Do they meet their promises? Do they want to improve?

Are they good are decision making? When making a decision, do they clarify the real results to achieve? Do they explore the possible options? Do they see the consequences of each option? Do they then make good decisions?

Are they good at proactively managing their key stakeholders? What are the words that their key stakeholders – their managers, customers and colleagues – would say about them?  

On a scale 0 – 10, to what extent would I rate the person as being professional: a) towards customers: b) towards colleagues?

Rate them in both areas and then describe what they can do to maintain or improve the ratings. Here is the exercise on this theme.

Professional

The name of the person is …

The extent to which the person behaves in a
professional way 
towards customers and colleagues is:

Customers ___ / 10  

Colleagues ___ / 10

The specific things the person can do
to maintain or improve the ratings are: 

*

*

Peak Performing

What we are looking at is the extent to which a person consistently delivers 8+/10. They may do this by always being professional and then sometimes adding that touch of class.

Great teams are made up of people who continually do superb work and then rise to the occasion when it matters. They may do this when providing great service, managing crises or doing exceptional work.

Bearing these things in mind, ask yourself the following questions about a person.

Do they consistently deliver 8+/10? When do they do work that is effective, excellent and sometimes exceptional? When do that go that extra mile and add that touch of class?

What are their strengths? What are the specific activities in which they deliver As rather than Bs or Cs? How can they use these to make their best contribution to the team?  

If this was my own business – and my own money – would I employ this person? If so, what would I hire them to deliver? What would be the benefits to the team?

On a scale 0 – 10, to what extent do I rate the person regarding them delivering peak performances: a) when working with customers: b) when working with colleagues?

Rate the person in both areas and then describe what they can do to maintain or improve the ratings. Here is the exercise on this theme.

Peak Performing

The name of the person is …

The extent to which the person delivers peak
performances with
 customers and colleagues is:

Customers ___ / 10  

Colleagues ___ / 10

The specific things the person can do
to maintain or improve the ratings are: 

Imagine that you have done these ratings. What are the kinds of scores are you looking for? It can be useful to have people who score the following in each area.

Being Positive: 8+. This is vital because the way they behave will affect other people. 

Being Professional: 7+. This is providing they are willing to keep developing. 

Being A Peak Performer: 7+. This is providing they are willing to use their talents to the benefit of the team.

One leader explained how he had used this approach when focusing on some of his team.

“The part I found most useful was rating one of my key players in relation to both customers and colleagues.  

“He was superb with clients, but terrible with team members. He dismissed people’s opinions and moaned aloud in the office. 

“So I gave him the option of: a) choosing to be professional towards team members, or; b) carrying on being unprofessional and, as a result, being moved on from the team. 

“After a period of reflection, he chose to be professional towards his colleagues. Since then he has been true to his word, but I am not taking any chances.

“So I have visited his customers, introduced them to other team members and have a back-up plan in case he reverts to his old behaviour.”

It can be good to have team members who aim to be positive, professional and peak performers. This provides the basis for continuing to build a superb team.

If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences. 

Building A Positive Team 

The specific things I can do to build a team of people who are
professional are positive, professional and peak performers are:

*

*

*

 

The specific benefits of
building such a team will be:

* 

*

*

The Positive Matriarch Approach

Positive matriarchs play a key part in helping teams and organisations to achieve success. They have formal professional roles but they also often act as custodians of the culture.

Such matriarchs act as positive models and demonstrate high professional standards. They are also savvy and know how to get positive results. People often like working for them, but also know what is and is not accepted.

Looking back, can you think of a woman who played such a role? What were the qualities she demonstrated? How did she translate these into action? How did other people respond to the matriarch?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences. 

A Positive Matriarch In The Past

The name of the woman who
acted as a positive matriarch was: 

*

The positive qualities
they demonstrated were:

*

* 

*

The positive influence they had on
the people and the work place was:

* 

*

*

Many positive matriarchs demonstrate some of the following qualities. Let’s explore these themes.

They Are Positive And Professional

Such people are often warm and welcoming. They show an interest in people but also have a strong work ethic. They expect themselves and others to deliver good work on a daily basis.

During the past fifty years I have worked in many places where women played this role. These have included therapeutic communities, schools, businesses and other organisations.

Such matriarchs often acted as custodians of the cultures. They safeguarded the principles and ensured these were translated into action. They created a positive atmosphere but also made sure that people got the work done.

They Are Respected By People

Positive matriarchs provide the positivity and predictability that maintains an organisation. They are respected by people because of their personality and professionalism.

People also know that the matriarch expects them to deliver certain standards, however, so they don’t try to get away with poor work. Some may do to begin with, but they soon decide to deliver the goods or move on.

Such women often act as good models for young professionals who aspire to develop their careers. They may also mentor such people and pass on knowledge about how to retain their sanity whilst also delivering success.

They Are Good At Getting Positive Results 

Many positive matriarchs have been around the block. They have had many different experiences in their personal and professional lives.

They have worked for superb leaders, dysfunctional leaders and many in-between. They have worked for great organisations and those that perform poorly.

They may have raised families, run refugee centres, coached sports teams, dealt with crises and led business teams. Most of all, they know how to get things done.

Let’s return to your own work. Looking ahead, imagine that you lead an organisation. What may be the kind of situation when you may want to hire a positive matriarch?

What could be the benefits of bringing in such a person? What could you do to find such a person and then give them the support they need to do superb work?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences. 

A Positive Matriarch In The Future

The specific situation where I may want
to employ a positive matriarch may be:

*

The positive benefits they may
bring to the work place may be:

* 

* 

* 

The specific things I can do to find such a person and then
give them the 
support they need to do superb work are:

*

* 

*

The Recruiting
For Spirit Approach

There are many ways to recruit people. One approach is to clarify whether a person has the right spirit and strengths to help the team to achieve its picture of success. This section focuses on the first theme.

Great teams are based on similarity of spirit and diversity of strengths. Diversity of spirit is a recipe for disaster. They want characters rather than clones, however, so they therefore often take the following step.

They clarify whether a person has the spirit
they want people in the team to demonstrate

Some teams do this by focusing on the principles or professional standards they want people to demonstrate. One organisation I worked with took the following steps when interviewing people.

They sent the candidate a booklet that described: a) the values they wanted people in the organisation to follow; b) the reasons for following these values. It was illustrated with examples and success stories that showed employees living the values.

The candidate was invited to do some prework which they then presented at the interview. They were asked:

To describe a specific time in when they had aimed to live some of these values – this could be in their personal or professional life; 

To describe the specific things they did to translate this value into action; 

To describe the specific things they would do to aim to live this value in their work in the organisation.

This sounds an enormous task, but it was vital. Some candidates rose to the challenge, others did not.

The organisation saw recruitment as one of its most important tasks. It looked for people who took responsibility and aimed:

To have a positive attitude;  

To help other people – such as customers and colleagues – to succeed;

To keep developing as professionals

The organisation aimed to recruit such people and involved them in a positive induction process. They then made decisions about the person’s future towards the end of the probationary period.

The organisation found that this often proved to be successful. It then took another look at the person’s strengths and how they could use these to help the organisation to achieve success.

The Decision Makers, Drivers
And Deliverers Approach

Great teams get the right balance between decision makers, drivers and deliverers. Decision makers set the strategy. Drivers act as the gears and translate the strategy into action. Deliverers produce the goods.

People may move between all these roles at times but it is important to get the right balance in your team. Let’ explore these different roles.

Decision Makers

Decision makers set the compass and communicate the team’s direction. Different people communicate this their people in different ways. Some describe the following themes.

Good teams frequently have two or three people at the centre who take responsibility for setting the overall direction. They often involve other key people, however, to ensure they have a real sense of ownership in terms of setting and implementing the strategy.

Imagine you are applying some of these ideas to the team in which you work at the moment. Ask yourself the following questions.

Who are the good strategic decision makers in the team at the moment? How can they continue to make good decisions and, when appropriate, communicate these clearly to the whole team? 

Who are the people in the team who could become good strategic decision makers? How can we help them to continue to develop their decision making skills?

Will we at any point need to add any more good strategic decision makers? Where might we find such people? What could we then do to ensure they embody the team’s spirit and also add to the team?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe the good strategic decision makers you already have in the team – write their names. Describe the specific things you can do to, if appropriate, develop or add more good strategic decision makers. 

Decision Makers

The good strategic decision makers
we already have in the team are:

*

* 

*

The specific things we can do to, if appropriate,
develop or add more 
good strategic decision makers are:

* 

* 

*

Drivers

Drivers are the gears of the team. They act as positive models and often lead smaller teams within the whole team. They translate the strategy into action and ensure their people deliver results.

Such a driver approaches the leader and says something like the following.

“As far as I understand it, the strategy of the overall team is: To … 

“My team’s part in making the strategy happen is: To … 

“Is that correct? Right, I will go and make it happen.”

Leaders must make sure that all their direct reports embody these qualities. Otherwise they will leapfrog them and micro-manage the deliverers.

Great sports teams, for example, recruit drivers to form the spine of the team. Spurring-on their teammates, they ensure the strategy is translated into action. How does this work in your team?

Good drivers act as positive models. They keep reminding their people of the team’s purpose and principles. They then manage by outcomes and enable their people to deliver the desired picture of success.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the good drivers you already have in the team – write their names. Describe the specific things you can do to, if appropriate, develop or add more good drivers.

Drivers

The good drivers we
already have in the team are:

* 

*

* 

The specific things we can do to, if appropriate,
develop 
or add more good drivers are: 

*

* 

* 

Deliverers

Deliverers are often doers who take responsibility. They make clear working contracts, do superb work and keep others informed about their progress. Good finishers in their areas of expertise, they make sure that things get done.

Some deliverers go on to become drivers, but this calls for adding to their repertoire of skills. They need to act as positive models and develop their skills as co-ordinators.

Some deliverers therefore prefer to remain as brilliant niche providers. This is okay: providing they have a positive attitude, do good work and contribute to helping the team reach its goals.

Good leaders know the strengths of their people. They know where each person is likely to deliver As rather than Bs or Cs. They therefore aim to put the right people in the right places. This makes it more likely that people will deliver the goods.

Great teams get the right balance of decision makers, drivers and deliverers. As mentioned earlier, however, sometimes each person may play each of these roles when doing certain kinds of work.

If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the good deliverers you already have in the team – write their names. Describe the specific things you can do to, if appropriate, develop or add more good deliverers.

Deliverers

The good deliverers we
already have in the team are:

*

*

* 

The specific things we can do to, if appropriate,
develop or 
add more good deliverers are:

*

*

*

The Rebuilding
The Team Approach

“But it is so difficult to get the right people,” somebody may say. Maybe, but it is even more difficult working with the wrong people in the wrong places.

There is a much quoted principle regarding government: “Personnel is policy.” The personal beliefs and qualities of the key people will have a profound influence in the way the policies are implemented.

Imagine that you have a blank piece of paper to rebuild your present team. Imagine also that everybody in the team has left and reapplied to join. Let’s explore how you can revitalise your team.

You need people who have a positive attitude and who aim to do professional work. Otherwise you may spend time dealing with people issues rather than working towards achieving the picture of success.

Clarify the people that
you would definitely rehire

Who are the people that you would definitely rehire? Bearing in mind their strengths, what would you rehire each of these people to deliver? How would you make clear contracts with them about their contributions to the team?

You will have your own criteria for making these decisions. Here are the headlines of a response that one leader gave to these questions.

“I know exactly the people that I would rehire. There are several people that form the backbone of the team. 

“Mary, the Operations Director, who makes thing work. Sarah, the Sales Director, who is brilliant with certain kinds of clients. Dave, the Human Resources Director, who focuses on how people can use their strengths to implement the strategy.

“Looking at the next level, there are at least five people I would rehire immediately, two of whom could step into the leadership team. 

“There are also fine people on Reception and in charge of Facilities. Looking overall, I would rehire about 60% of our people. They provide the backbone for the company.”

Imagine you lead your team. Who are the people you would definitely rehire? How would you encourage them to play to their strengths?

The next step would be to make clear contracts with them about their best contribution. You could agree with them on:

The specific results they will deliver that will contribute towards achieving the team’s goals. 

The specific support they need to achieve the agreed goals. 

The specific things they will do to proactively keep you informed about their progress towards achieving the goals.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this topic. This invites you to write the names of each person you would rehire and complete the following sentences. 

The People I Would Definitely Rehire

The person’s name is:

*

The specific things I would do
to rehire them to deliver are: 

*

*

*

The specific things I would do to encourage
and enable them to deliver these results are:

* 

*

*

Clarify the people that
you would maybe rehire

Who are the people you would maybe rehire? Bearing in mind their strengths, what would you maybe rehire them to deliver?

What is the attitude you would like them to demonstrate? What are the professional standards – the Dos and Don’ts – you would like them to bear in mind when contributing to the team? How can you give them these messages in a positive but clear way?

How can you then give them chance to reflect and decide if they want to follow these professional guidelines? If they want to opt in, how can you then make clear contracts with them about their best contribution to the team?

You will have your own criteria for making these decisions. Here is the response that the leader mentioned earlier gave to these questions.

“There are one or two people I might rehire, but a lot would depend on their attitude. The leaders of our IT department, for example, must become more customer-focused.  

“During the early days we just had a couple of people who took care of the internal systems. At the time they were contractors and really put in the hours. As the business grew, we offered them the chance to lead the department on a full-time basis, which they grabbed straight away.

“Since then the IT department has grown, but the leaders have become locked into their systems, rather than serving the internal customers.

“I might rehire the two original people, because they are talented. But I would invite them to decide if they want to show the commitment they did when working as suppliers.

“For example, I want them to deliver a service where our people say things like:

‘The IT department provides great service that helps us to do our jobs … They are responsive and sort out problems quickly … They help us to get up to speed quickly with the newest technology … They are the best IT department I have worked with in any company.’ 

“I will give them the chance to decide if they want to get these kinds of responses from our people. If so, I will invite them to produce a plan to ensure they achieve these goals. I will give them a deadline by which this plan should be produced, but I won’t chase them.

“If they do not get back to me by the agreed date – or if they produce a plan but fail to deliver the goods – then that is their choice. I will find people who are prepared to deliver the required professional standards.”

Imagine that you have clarified how you would maybe rehire. The next step would be to make clear contracts with them about their best contribution. You could agree with them on:

The specific results they will deliver that will contribute towards achieving the team’s goals. 

The specific professional standards required to make their best contribution to the team. 

The specific support they need to achieve the agreed goals.

The specific things they will do to proactively keep you informed about their progress towards achieving the goals.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this topic. This invites you to write the names of each person you would maybe rehire and how you would encourage them to deliver the desired results.

The People I Would Maybe Rehire

The person’s name is:

*

The specific things I would do
to rehire them to deliver are:

* 

*

* 

The specific things I would do to encourage
and enable them to deliver these results are:

* 

*

*

Clarify the people that
you would not rehire 

Who are the people you would not rehire? What are the reasons why you would not rehire these people? How could you manage these situations in a moral and professional way?

Different leaders give different reasons for not rehiring certain people. Here are some that they offer.

“They have the wrong attitude. They have crafted a role that suits them, but it does not add value to the company.

“They rose quickly in the company and got a great financial package. Now the company has changed and we need different things from a person at their level. But they want to carry on doing the same things and drawing a high salary.  

“They are high-maintenance. They expect the company to satisfy all their needs rather than them taking responsibility for making their best contribution to the company.”

Imagine you have clarified the people you would not rehire. The next step is to handle the situation in a professional way.

Different people do this in different ways. One approach is to make sure all the legal areas are covered and also to be generous in any package you offer a person.

If appropriate, you may then write a script you want to follow when talking with the person. This may include the following messages.

“As you know, the team faces many challenges as it moves forward. This means that people will need to demonstrate certain qualities to be the right fit with what is required. 

“The characteristics that people will need to demonstrate in the future in order to help the team achieve success are: 

*

*

*

“Whilst you have certain qualities, unfortunately the ones you have do not fit with what is needed in the future team. We will, of course, offer you the best available package to move on.  

“I am prepared to answer any questions you have about this decision. Also, we will provide as much support as we can in helping to make the transition easier for you and the team.  

“If you want to reflect for a while, please do so. I will then answer any questions you have regarding the next steps for moving forwards.”

Imagine that you have given a person these kinds of messages. If the person asks for more information about the decision, it is important to be able to give specific reasons.

You can, for example, describe the positive qualities the person would need to have demonstrated. So you may say something like:

“The professional attitude and standards that people need to demonstrate in the future team are: 

*

*

“You have certain qualities, but unfortunately have not shown the ones we require in the future. Therefore it is probably not the right fit for you or for the team.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this topic. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

The People I Would Not Rehire 

The person’s name is:

*

The specific reasons why I
would not rehire them are:

*

*

* 

The specific things I would do to manage the
situation in a 
moral and professional way are:

*

* 

*

Clarify the people that you
may want to add to the team

If you wish, clarify the kinds of people you may want to add to the team. One approach is to start by asking yourself the following questions.

What are the individual and collective strengths we have in the team? What are the strengths that we need to add? How can we do our best to hire people who will add those strengths?

Imagine, for example, that you have many people who are entrepreneurial or experts. They have lots of ideas, but sometimes their efforts are not aligned. You may need to add several good co-ordinators. They will make sure that people align their efforts and get the work done.

Good leaders are like good sports coaches. They spend a lot of time looking for potential hires. Aiming to get ahead of the game – rather than being left in the lurch – they fill the recruitment pipeline with people who might want to work in their team.

The General Manager of one hotel chain I worked with, for example, took notice of people who gave him good service on his travels. If appropriate, he would hand them his card and say something like the following.

“You gave us great service today. If you are ever interested in developing your career, let me know. Drop me an email and we can have an informal chat over coffee.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this topic. This invites you to complete the following sentences. 

The People I Would Like To Add

The specific kinds of people I
would like to add to the team are:

*

* 

*

The specific things I can do to find these people and then make
clear contracts 
about their contributions to the team are:

*

* 

*

Clarify the specific things that
you can do to rebuild the team

How can you translate these ideas into action? One person explained this approach in the following way.

“I do this exercise every year and act on it. At first it seemed a bit scary, but that was because there was so much to sort out.

“It took six months to get the team right, but now it functions brilliantly. Nevertheless, I still do the exercise to ensure we stay on track.”

Imagine that you have done the previous exercises. Bearing in mind the decisions you have made about people you may want to take the following steps.

You can rehearse the conversations
you 
are going to have with each person

This is vital. Make sure you are crystal clear on the key messages you want to give to: a) the people you definitely would rehire; b) the people you maybe would rehire; c) the people you would not rehire; d) the people you want to add to the team.

You can rehearse how to make clear contracts
with the people who will be in the future team

This will involve agreeing on the results they will deliver and the support needed to achieve the goals. Looking ahead at the different types of conversations, anticipate the potential challenges. Rehearse how you can deal with these in a professional way.

Let return the theme of having the right people in the team. Imagine that you lead your present team.

Do you have the right people in the right places in the team? What can you do to make this happen? If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

The Right People

The extent to which I believe the team
has the right people in the right places is:

___ / 10

The specific things we can do to
maintain or improve the rating are:

* 

*

* 

The specific benefits of
taking these steps will be:

*

* 

*

The Right Way

Great teams encourage, educate and enable people to implement the right strategy in the right way. People can then keep delivering high professional standards on the way towards achieving the right results.

Imagine you lead your present team. Let’s assume you have communicated the purpose, principles and picture of success. Everybody has also made clear contracts about their best contributions. You can then aim:

To make sure that every team member has the support required to do the job; 

To hold monthly update sessions where each person presents the following: 

a) the things they have done in the last month towards achieving the goals;

b) the things they plan to do in the next month towards achieving the goals;

c) the challenges they face, their strategies for tackling these challenges and the support they need to reach the goals;

To keep publishing success stories that highlight when people have performed superb work and how the team can follow these principles in the future;

You can also encourage people to embody the concept of continuous improvement and do what is necessary to ensure the team delivers success.

It is also possible to apply elements of this approach when leading a project team. There are many models for running successful projects. Here is one approach.

Let’s explore another theme regarding making your best contribution.

The Drive It, Delegate It
And Ditch It Approach

Good leaders aim to drive the key strategies for helping the team to achieve success. They manage their energy properly and aim to be selective to be effective.

Sounds simple in theory, but sometimes the leader’s diary gets crowded as they take on more things to do. One leader described this in the following way.

“My ‘To Do’ list is full and there are only so many jobs I can tackle. My days should be spent driving strategy, but they get consumed by catching-up on tasks. 

“I only have so much energy, so it is important to channel this into the activities that will make a real difference. Sometimes at the end of a day it is hard to know what I have achieved.”

Imagine that you lead your team. How can you be effective? Start by listing the things that must be done to deliver the picture of success.

Divide these into three headings: Drive It, Delegate It, Ditch It. Then work through the following steps.

Drive It

Looking at the ‘To Do’ list, start by describing the things that you personally want to drive. The leader mentioned above explained their approach to doing this in the following way.

“I am clear on our team’s goals. I am also clear on the three key strategies we can follow to achieve that goal. I plan to take responsibility for the top two strategies. 

“The first strategy is to continually manage and reassure our key stakeholders – my bosses and the banks – by delivering the required profitability.

“The second strategy is to build and maintain a culture in which people can deliver peak performance.

“I will take a hands-on approach to making these two strategies happen. This will also involve working with the right people to ensure we deliver the required results.” 

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Bearing in mind your ‘To Do’ list, this invites you to do the following. Describe the specific things you want to take responsibility for driving and how you can make these happen.

Drive It

The specific things I want to drive to help
the team deliver the picture of success are:

*

*

*

The specific steps I can take
to drive these things are:

*

*

Delegate It

Looking at your ‘To Do’ list, move on to the things you want to delegate. Delegation sounds easy in theory, but it is vital to do the following things.

To describe the specific outcomes that are required – the picture of success;

To delegate to people who are capable of delivering these outcomes – otherwise you will be spending your time micromanaging them;

To check they have understood the required outcomes – by asking them to play back their understanding – and make sure they want to do the job.

To give them the support required and how they will proactively keep you informed of their progress towards achieving the goals.

The leader mentioned above explained their approach in the following way.

“Looking at our key strategies, I decide to delegate our approach to developing a successful digital arm.

“Certainly I was still accountable for the results, but my Chief Technology Officer was more than capable of making it happen. 

“We made clear contracts about the desired outcome, the support required and how they would proactively keep me informed about the progress toward achieving the goal.  

“This meant I could sleep more easily at night.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Bearing in mind your ‘To Do’ list, this invites you to do the following.

Describe the specific things you want to delegate and how you can delegate these properly. 

Delegate It

The specific things I
want to delegate are:

*

*

*

The specific steps I can take to
delegate these things properly are:

* 

* 

*

Ditch It

Looking at your ‘To Do’ list, describe the things you want to ditch. It will also be important to describe how to manage the consequences of ditching these.

The leader mentioned earlier described their approach in the following way.

“I find it easy to ditch things in theory, but it is more difficult in practice. 

“I start out with good intentions, but then get guilty about neglecting certain activities. So I often end up doing these things anyway. 

“Bearing this in mind, I gathered my leadership team and we focused on the following things. 

“The key strategies we could follow and how we could deliver these successfully.

“The specific things we wanted to ditch – the tasks, projects and other activities – because these were time consuming and did not contribute greatly to achieving the goals. 

“The specific things we could do to manage the consequences of ditching these things.   

“The discussion became heated at times, because it sometimes involved pet projects, but we got there in the end. 

“Ditching some activities also had implications for some of our stakeholders.

Bearing this in mind, I spent quite a lot of time meeting these people and, where appropriate, provided alternative solutions.

“The ditching process eventually went well. It freed up more time for implementing the key strategies and achieving success.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Bearing in mind the ‘To Do’ list, this invites you to complete the following sentences.

Ditch It

The specific things I and
the team want to ditch are:

*

*

* 

The specific steps I and we can take to ditch
these things and 
manage the consequences are:

* 

*

*

This section has explored ways to implement the right strategy with the right people in the right way. Taking this approach increases the chances of delivering the right results. 

If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences. 

The Right Way

The extent to which I believe the people in the team
implement
the right things in the right way is:

___ / 10

The specific things we can do to
maintain or improve the rating are:

* 

*

* 

The specific benefits of
taking these steps will be:

*

* 

*

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