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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

The company’s goldmine: your responsibility

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Every company has the same goal: increasing its earnings per share, maintain good cash flow and generate profit in every activity the company has. And you cannot complain about it; having a profitable company implies that all layers of the organization benefit out of it. Therefore, for those in leadership positions particularly, it becomes rather important to have the teams reaching for their objectives.

As a leader starts to set the strategy on how those objectives will be achieved, he/she has to pay closer attention on the talent the team has. Talent management is one of the most important skills a leader must have in order to meet the company’s goals. As a leader you can set up a good strategy – and have it spread out correctly- but if the talent is not maximized, those goals will never be accomplished. When I say to maximize your  teams’ talent it does not mean to burn them with long hours of work or assigning them to projects they do not have the skills to work on. Maximizing you team’s skills mean to understand every single team member and find where he/she is good at and how they can contribute.

A manager or team leader can easily fall short if he/she does not understand the team. Understanding the team implies to know the members’ background; what they have worked on in the past, what academic experience is valuable in the job, what is the level of pressure they can handle individually so that the work quality meets the company standards.

Moreover, you need to identify what are those members that have an innate quality of doing so well at everything they do versus those that need to be taught how to accomplish certain tasks. Who does not like to work with a group of people that do things well all the time and that you can rely with confidence?.  Truth of the matter though is that such an utopia is hard to obtain. You will always have members that need more time from you and that need to be coached regularly in order to do a good job. A leader’s work will be reflected more in the latter group, and it is with this type of people where you need to put more energy day in and day out. You need to make sure the gap between these two types of personalities decreases in order to have a team that delivers more than what is expected.

Your company’s goldmine to better financial numbers and more success relies on the talent. You are in charge of managing such talent; how well you do it will dictate how good of a leader you are. Are you up for the challenge?

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The opportunity to make breakfast

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I was watching how my daughter was making her bed this morning. This is one of the new tasks she has at home by being a “big lady”. If it were for her, she would be preparing breakfast now. When I came back to check on her work, I must say it was not as I expected. She forgot to put her stuffed animals on top and they were all over the bedroom. I have to admit this is a miss on the parent’s side (O.K., mostly mine): we were not clear on telling her the steps she needed to follow in order to do this task well.  Having clear that there is a big difference between giving directions to a 6-year old and you, the reader, when you are working in your job you need to have a clarity on what the company wants from you.  However, once the goal setting stage is completed, you are entirely responsible for your performance and results. Therefore, I want to give you some insight on performance management from the employee point-of-view.

As I said, it is expected that once you have a clear view of what the company goals are, and your manager told you what is required from you to meet those goals, you are responsible to make that happen. Throughout my career I have seen people that expect to have everything in her hands in order to perform a job. I have heard comments like ” well, I was not able to meet the goals for this year because my manager did not tell me what I needed to do to reach the results he/she expected”. While I believe that a manager needs to be aware of the needs his/her team in order to provide guidance and coaching when needed, you as an employee are entirely responsible of your performance. This means that you have to demonstrate a good way to deal with problems in your job, to overcome obstacles according to the company’s standards and to raise your hand when you need someone with more power in your organization to come in and help you. Job Performance is what a single person does in the job. In other words, you are responsible for how you do things -both right and wrong.

Demonstrate to your manager that you are independent enough to look for solutions, to grow business scope and to generate a positive impact in the company. If you expect your manager to hand-hold you while you work, you will not go far. A manager has a responsibility with you, but also with many other people that work in his/her team. Do not expect that your manager will be telling how to do things because it is most likely he/she will not have the time for it -and nor the responsibility to do it.  When you demonstrate that you can do things on your own and that you have a good understanding of what the company needs from you to reach the business goals, you are in a good position to continue growing professionally. Do not forget that you were hired by your manager because of the skills you have and the results you had elsewhere. It is your responsibility to show your manager he/she was not wrong about giving you the opportunity to join the company.

My daughter is now asking if she is ready to make breakfast tomorrow; I prefer not to imagine how that would be. I told her she first needs to make her bed well (i.e. master the task) and then move up to the next level. As you also work on your master your tasks, demonstrate good business management and perform well, opportunities will knock on your door and you will also ready to take on the next level – or as I know call it: the opportunity to make breakfast.

3-7-0 Teamwork

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

F. C. Barcelona . Everyone that likes and follows soccer would agree this is the best soccer team right now – and many would consider it the best soccer team of all times. The way they play the game fills up everyone’s eyes.

As I was watching the last match between Barcelona and Real Madrid for the Spanish Liga, I started to notice the formation Barcelona was using: 3-7-0. No one has ever seen this in professional soccer before. The surprise relied on the fact that anyone from the midfield and up was able to help on the offensive line. This was only possible by the way this team works together. For this reason I would like to use the example of F.C. Barcelona to talk about teamwork.

Teamwork is defined as the coordination of a group in the interest of a common goal. When a soccer team like Barcelona plays, it is extremely easy to see what is their goal; more than score 5 or 6 times, their interest is in playing with simplicity and effectiveness. These are the keys for their success.

In a team everyone cooperates and everyone makes sure the ultimate goal does not get overseen. The options to reach the goal increase as every team member understands the collective work is more important than the individual reward. Many work teams get blind-sighted by team members that believe their agenda is more important than the team’s; this is easily noticed when you have members that drive attention just to them without considering if their actions affect others in the group.

FC Barcelona has lost games, however you can have certainty that their chances of winning are always better than its rivals. Your work team may have losses as well, but you need to make sure the chances of succeeding are always high. How do you reach to that level? Well, you need to make sure the standards for the team, its rules and beliefs are understood by everyone in it. The culture of the team is the first base where the rest will be created. As you make everyone understand the way the team needs to work, it will be easier to work during the tough times the team will need to face.

As I keep analyzing this amazing team Barcelona has become, it is imperative to talk about the pieces that make it work: a head coach that understands the philosophy to make the players mentally strong and the leaders this team has. One scene that I do not forget about the clásico is the reaction Carles Puyol had when Real Madrid made the first goal with less than a minute from the start of the game. Immediately after the action, he started to push his teammates to keep up the spirit of fight, the will to win the game in spite of the situation, and the belief that they were better prepared than their opponents. This type of leaders are natural, however this does not mean you cannot nurture those with certain key characteristics: those that are good followers, those that are conscious about their mistakes and work towards improving them, those that demonstrate willingness to do things well.

Teamwork can be very fulfilling when goals are met; they also can be of great support when things do not go as expected. As the main lead of a group, make sure your team works just as the F.C. Barcelona plays: with simplicity and effectiveness.