The main reason to lead is to ACCOMPLISH something, to ACHIEVE a goal, to get something DONE.
After all the hard work, after all the training, all the leadership coaching, all the courses, seminars and videos on leadership, all the talk about the qualities of great leaders – the measure of a leader is simply this: did the leader achieve his or her goals? Did he or she get done what was intended to get done?
This measure especially applies to your people: Are your people getting done what you want them to do?
What we consider an Exceptional Leader is a purpose-driven individual who inspires his or her people to be their very best while accomplishing worthy goals and purposes.
The key word in that definition is accomplishing. All the qualities and skills of an exceptional leader, all the leadership tools, all the team building, all the empowerment, all the management, and organizational development is for the sole purpose of getting something done. However, not just any old “something.” The “something” a leader wants to accomplish is a goal or objective that is exactly as he or she intended. This means the very first step of a leader is to work out his or her purpose, then the goals he or she wants to achieve. Goals must be complete, exact and specific. If they are not, then a leader will either fail to reach what he or she really wants or produce something else which is usually undesirable or inadequate.
We have all heard the expression, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” Truer words were never written or spoken. If you don’t carefully work out exactly what you want, you will surely get something else you don’t want – to include failure to get anything. This concept needs to be applied to a leader’s people as well. The leader has to communicate the exact purpose and goals of the organization, then communicate the purpose of and end results expected for each individual’s job. The leader also needs to show how each person’s job contributes to the overall success and purpose of the company.
Finally, the leader has to take any actions needed to get his or her people to produce their expected end results, to the highest standards. A leader can (and should) treat his or her people as well as possible, can empower them as much as possible, can create the best working environment possible – but all toward accomplishing an intended and stated goal.
That might sound stupidly simple, but in fact this orientation is powerful and causes a person to be far more productive and engaged.
Finally, analytics (metrics, KPI, etc) measure objectively how productive each team member is and how effective the leader is in achieving the group’s goals.
The key point to all this is, if you are a business owner or executive at any level, always keep your eyes and mind on the company’s purpose and goals. And make sure your goals are well defined and clear in the first place.