Accomplishing business goals verses personal goals is very different. One of the key ingredients to an effective manager is that you must accomplish something. Usually it’s a business goal that has been assigned to you. It sounds easy, but it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.
Many challenges that face a manager today is the not necessarily the task at hand, but rather determining how the task is going to be accomplished. This usually means employing the talents and skills of others. Leading others is critical to getting things done and can also be the most problematic. Many times we have a team that is given to us and it has its own limitations or abundance, of skill sets. The best move any manager/leader can make is to spend time and learn which people possess what skills and talents so that you can orchestrate the best possible outcome or product.
Once you know who is best to accomplish the task, it is time to frame it, break it down and build a roadmap to success. The first step is to frame the task in a larger context. Adults need a sense of where this project is going, what it will look like when it is done and how it will affect them once completed. Many times this first step of framing is overlooked and as a result you will encumber more resistance than you need to. Framing the goal or task to a bigger picture defines purpose. Adults need purpose.
Second, we need to break the task down to workable “chunks.” A cautionary note; do not assign any more than three tasks or chunks at a time! The FranklinCovey company has presented research in recent years that confirms that we (human beings) can only handle up to three tasks at a time. If you add a fourth, the research shows the first three will not be accomplished because we feel overwhelmed. Look at the task or goal at hand, carve out the big “buckets” of things that need to accomplished and assign them to folks on your team most suited with the skills to accomplish them. Once those first three are accomplished, add another three. As a leader, take comfort in the fact that you have well defined goals, clear tasks that need to be accomplished, and established “why” you are doing what you are doing.
Finally, establish a roadmap. The roadmap allows you as the manager to know where folks are on completing a task, whether or not they will accomplish it on time, and if the goal will be completed as expected. Each element of the roadmap will have these three components; what specific tasks are to be completed, who is responsible for the task, and when the task is due. Once that first milestone is accomplished, another one is set with the same criteria and the process repeats itself until the goal is accomplished. As a manager, get out of the way. Yes, get out of the way and let your team do its thing!
Here is a simple example of a roadmap:
Example: Trunk Show
Pick a date 1-Jul - 5-Jul
Trunk show August 17
Select a Theme
Food, beverage, decorations
Vendor Relations: Tom
What vendors do we want? 7-Jul - 12-Jul
Who is available?
Are they willing to contribute?
Advertisement / Media: Stephanie 12-Jul- 25-Jul
Mass Media- Radio, paper
In store / office signage