(Part six in the T10P's series) Deliver What You Promise & Effective Delegation – an Executive Head-hunters view.
Top 10 percenters (T10’s) deliver what they promise and on time. If there is a hiccup in the process they inform others well before the deadline, so there areno surprises. They make sure their employees work in a structure of responsibility and accountability.
If you continually commit to unrealistic deadlines you will not only affect your personal brand but you will put pressure on yourself. A T10p in this regard will always look at what is possible and what is not possible. Over the last few years the current work environment has been one of chaos since the GFC. People are doing more than one job, working longer hours and feel that they have the specter of redundancy looming. As a result many behave as though they are still in survival mode.
Most of us have been in this situation at one stage or another in our career.
Here are some tips that T10p’s do differently:
- This is an oldie but a goody. With your work deadlines or time line commitments you should allow for the worst case scenario. For example if you know you can finish something in a day, calculate what the worst case would be, by factoring in outside interference, lack of internal co-operation and any unforeseen situations which may affect you achieving the deadline. It is ok to say, “I should be able to get this out today but the worst case scenario is Friday, as I need to get information from another area”. It is amazing how honesty and clear communication provides clarity when things go astray.
- Don’t rush promises to impress. The real impression is what you deliver. People may rely on your promises and therefore put in play something else that needs to be completed post your delivery time line. If you don’t deliver on time, you may negatively position other deliverables and time lines may be affected, no matter the quality of your deliverables.
- Don’t under deliver to what you promised as a ‘good enough’ result. Isn’t it frustrating when someone gives you part of the report (on the deadline date) with all the excuses as to why they couldn’t finish or find the information to complete the project or report? You think to yourself, that is not what you said you would give me and now this will impact on what I am doing. Not only will your colleagues be annoyed but they will not take the fall; thus damaging your personal brand.
- T10p’s will speak up quickly when there is an issue and will re-evaluate the deadline and provide an alternative. No point sweeping the issue under the rug hoping it will go away, as the problem will just get worse. It is important to communicate issues quickly. No one is perfect and things happen, but if you hide reality because you are worried about how it will look, then the outcome will be worst if you delay the inevitable.
T10p’s know how to delegate effectively. They don’t take the world on their shoulders. They empower staff, even if that means that staff initially may make mistakes. Staff will develop and learn from the experience.
Part of meeting deadlines is knowing how to delegate effectively. If you take the world on your shoulders, not only will you be overstretched but you will probably be doing tasks that someone more junior could perform. In developing others we also develop ourselves by learning to delegate. You should never use fear of another staff member making a mistake as an excuse for not delegating. They will make mistakes but that is part of the learning process and that is also part of becoming a good manager and staff developer. We know that there are T10p’s who like control, however they will delegate with a backup. Not in a micro-managing way, but one where they can delegate and follow up. They give the task out, put a deadline on it, check that it has been done right and eventually they not only develop faith in a staff member, they will have developed a staff member to the point where in future no follow up is required.
T10p’s know that when they hire for their team they can’t hire ticking every box. In fact at the FEW Annual Leadership Conference this year one of the MD’s on the panel said that when he appoints for his leadership team, he hires people who tick six out of ten boxes. This person is a T10p because he knows that smart managers hire a mixture of current skills and future skills. They also hire people who will be challenged into the role as well. They did not want someone who could become bored after three months in a role, they hired those that could be challenged, accepted the challenge and developed along the way.
Stay tuned for more on this subject when I publish my series on effective hiring and what the T10p’s do after part seven of What T10p’s Do Differently – Healthy Work Balance.
About Judith Beck
Judith Beck has placed hundreds of executives over 20 years and is Managing Director of Financial Recruitment Group, Founder of Financial Executive Women and Chairman of Eon Mentis. Judith is a key note speaker on various subjects, such as How To Be A T10p, Stakeholder Management, Building your Internal and External Brand to name a few.