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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Newsletter Archive- Hailey's 7 Leadership Lessons: Lesson #7

Lesson #7: Follow Up Daily, Measure and Ask: Are We Meeting Our Goals?
By Suzanne Black; President, The Coaching Center, LLC
Urgent Care Waiting Area
Urgent Care Waiting Area
In Lesson #1 we talked about the importance of creating a vision. Lessons 2-6 all focus on what it takes to reach that vision. Lesson #7, our final lesson, completes the circle of what is necessary to make the vision a reality. It is about measuring our progress.
Some of us are better than others of us about setting daily goals and checking our progress. Some of us get up in the morning and make a to-do list. We monitor our lists throughout the day, checking off completed items as we go. At the end of they day, we know what we have done and what we still need to do.
Others of us are more random and spontaneous. We don’t like feeling limited by a list. We want the freedom to change direction, be impulsive, and explore multiple options. For us, lists are boring and constraining.
While freedom and spontaneity are good in some circumstances (international leisure travel, for instance) daily follow-up and measurement are necessary for the successful accomplishment of business goals. Disciplined assessment is important.
So, what can you do to insure that you are accurately assessing progress toward goals?
First, make a point to keep goals in the forefront of everyone’s mind. List-makers know that out of sight is out of mind. Keep a list of your goals on your desk in plain sight. Post your goals on the walls in your business to remind your employees of your goals. Each day, at the end of the work day, ask yourself: Did we make progress today in meeting our goals?
Second, create ways to measure your accomplishment. For instance, if one of your goals is to create a more comfortable atmosphere for your patients, you need to know how you will evaluate your progress.
How will you know if your patients feel more comfortable? You need to clearly identify markers for progress if you expect to accurately measure progress.
Third, now that you have created ways to measure your goals, use them! Measurement tools don’t work unless you use them. Schedule regular meetings where individuals are assigned to bring in measurement data. Discuss findings and how you will continue with good results or work to improve on results that aren’t as positive.
Fourth, practice management by wandering around. Effective leaders know about the bad news barrier – the line in the hierarchy at which the bad news stops in its movement up the ladder. The only way you will know if you are meeting your goals is to walk around and talk to employees and clients. Be seen, be heard, and listen!
Accomplished goals are your steps toward reaching your vision. Keeping goals in the forefront, creating ways to measure progress, measuring it, and wandering around will guarantee that your goals are met.
Intentional action is the difference between success and failure of a vision. These past weeks, we’ve given you Hailey’s Seven Leadership Lessons – the tools for success. Now it’s all in your hands.
Go out there and do it!

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