What questions did you ask the last candidate you tried to hire? What expectations did you have about what they would bring to the table and the types of leadership and results you expected to see? What were the things that made you want to choose the person you actually hired?
Now ask yourself, are you performing at the level that you expect or hope for in your job candidates? Are you expecting something from a new hire that you aren’t even doing yourself?
No, I don’t mean the actual tasks that are being performed by that new person, because it doesn’t mean that you should just take on more tasks. Didn’t you focus on more than just task execution in your interview?
Maybe it’s time to interview yourself.
Very similar to Beg Forgiveness Cards—
How about creating an awards program in your group specifically to highlight failure.
Celebrating success is great, but celebrating failure could just lead to better success.
What else do you need to celebrate in your group to help entice more of that behavior?
Have you ever received a request or task from someone higher up the leadership chain that, at first glance, seems to make absolutely no sense to you? Have no fear, everyone above you is much smarter than you and you should just shut up and get it done.
OK, hopefully you’re reading on to know that I’m joking. Let’s face it, those requests come every now and again and it’s important to think through how to deal with them. Here are a couple ways:
- If it’s something with an incredibly short implementation time and has no impact on anything else long or short term, just do it. Much like the rules of GTD.
- Ask probing questions. Try the ‘5 Whys’ trick to get an understanding of what you’re really being asked to do. Maybe you’ll develop an entirely different solution than the one being requested, or be able to better understand it and recommend something already in place. The other benefit is that with all of your questioning maybe the requestor will just get tired of answering the questions and cancel the request.
- Hurry up and wait. Lots of time these requests are merely reactions to something urgent. Giving lots of attention immediately and outlining a plan lets the requestor know that you’ve heard him/her and respect the request. That being said, when you understand it, wait a little while before you actually do it. Sometimes (you’ll get better at understanding which ones are which) the request will actually go away and you’ll get a note that it’s not needed anymore.
- Inform others up the chain of command. The more people you tell, the more people that will either back up the request or agree that it’s not necessary. If they agree it’s not necessary, without you telling them that of course, usually they’ll be the ones to go back to Senior Management. If enough people agree with the request it’s probably worthwhile.
Take a minute to think through these types of requests, just please don’t be a robot and do it because some senior leader asked. If they’re any good they’ll usually appreciate the fact that you thought it through first.