Thursday, November 21, 2013

Leadership Module 3 - Ace Dezines

Some big changes before we get into the session. Three participants were already waiting for me - they had taken professionalism seriously and showed up before time - and the fourth joined in under five minutes. Good work guys.

A quick recap of the last session revealed that the process had not been set in place. The team leads had not answered the questions on goal clarity, role clarity, target setting, empowerment, communication and  performance appraisal. In fact they were stuck at goal clarity itself.

Goal Clarity
I asked them to make a 2 line goal what they could share with their team. Most had 'happy clients' as a goal which is a noble one. However, we had to measure happiness and we had to bring in names and numbers to make the goals actionable. All goals must translate into work.

To begin with, we listed out why any client would be happy. Delivery - adhering to time, quality and quantity would be a fair enough reason for clients to be happy. Having done that we needed to develop some feedback mechanism that shows us client satisfaction or happiness. We looked at a 5 star rating. We felt that currently the client rating could be between 3 and 5, say an average of 4.

The goals then came down a bit more clearly. x number of happy clients by y date (six months from today) reflecting in a 4.5 and above rating on 5, on delivery exceeding expectations on time, quality and quantity. Now that could translate into work.

One reason why we do not make goals is that they instantly add some burden to our shoulders. However the way forward is one of responsibility so one must take that burden. The goal must be worthy of sharing, must be a actionable, with a time frame and actions, and must interest the team. To do all this the leader needs to work at it, think through and put in some extra hours. The group was given an assignment to write goals for their teams keeping all the parameters in place, discuss among themselves once, share knowledge and then reveal the same to their teams.

You must be able to paste the goal on the wall so everyone can see it.

Other factors
Role clarity, Target setting, Empowerment, Communication and Performance Appraisal would follow but it would require greater clarity of thought from the leader. To help with the same I asked them to develop a small note on each of the above aspects. The document will contain all details so as to make their thought process unambiguous and absolutely clear. This will also require the team lead to be two steps ahead of the others in terms of thinking through.

They were left with two assignments 1) to set goals and meet once before discussing or revealing the goals to the teams along with likely benefits and 2) to prepare a document detailing the other parameters in the process.

The 20 hour principle
As far as the aspects on which they had rated themselves as leaders in session one, they were asked to prioritise 3 qualities that they lacked confidence in and work on them. I know it sounds tough but all one needs is to put in enough to learn anything new.

A wonderful TED talk on the 20 minute principle where the speaker Josh Kaufman spoke about 'How to Learn Anything - The First 20 Years'. He said that all one needs is to invest 20 hours to get to a reasonable level of proficiency to feel good about it.  Watch the talk here.

He also mentioned how one must go about the 20 hours business. 1) Deconstruct what you want to gain some expertise at 2) learn so you can self-correct 3) eliminate practice barriers and 4) practice the 20 hours. It cold be 45 minutes a day for a month but it can lay many demons to rest.

The team leads were asked to devote 45 minutes a day to work on that particular skill or quality for a month.

Next week about Inspirational Leadership. Hopefully some learnings from this week's application will make it even more interesting. 

1 comment:

Shiva said...

It was a great session. We are going to have a team meeting today to discuss on things to put in practice.