Most of us would like to improve our ability to lead for results and achieve higher performance from our teams. On July 8th The Institute for Management Studies hosted a virtual program with author and educator Dr. Clinton Longenecker that provided an exercise that can help you achieve that goal. During his highly interactive, virtual session, “Lead for Results: Improving Focus, Relationships and Performance,” Dr. Longenecker stated that the #1 key to career success and survival is a performance track record or delivering desired results. During his program, he shared 6 best practices of high-performance leaders.
These practices start with making sure to get everyone is on the same page in order to create a clear sense of purpose and direction that is known and understood by all. Once everyone is on the same page, ongoing performance monitoring and measurement is needed to ensure accountability for results. Not to mention, there should be open, two-way communication that nurtures cooperation and teamwork. And finally, don’t forget that periodic refinement may be necessary, so always look for ways to develop more effective processes that make it easier to get the work done.
Dr. Longenecker also provided an effective model for combatting the destructive nature of always being too busy. He notes that you need to wisely invest your most valuable resource to get better results – your time. The exercise that he discussed is represented by the acronym S.T.O.P.
S – SIT
Get in the practice of regularly slowing down and taking a pulse check. Find a quiet place to sit that will afford you the opportunity to think clearly.
T – THINK
Use this time to think about the key results and activities that drive your cumulative effectiveness, not just those urgent, pressing issues.
O – OPTIMIZE
Spend time during these moments to plan and organize specific actions that need to be done in order to achieve desired results.
P – PERFORM
Act upon these plans to execute the key issues that will lead to the desired results.
The first step in applying this model should be to get in the practice of creating a daily S.T.O.P. by following the 15/5/5 rule.
- In the morning, spend 15 minutes creating a performance script to identify the activities you should realistically complete by the end of the day. Then estimate the amount of time needed for each activity. Finally, prioritize that list to ensure you tackle the highest priority items first.
- Take a 5-minute timeout during your day to assess your performance and adjust the plan if needed.
- End each day with a 5-minute S.T.O.P. to review progress and prepare for the next day.
This entire process takes only 25 minutes per day, which is roughly 4.5% of a 9-hour workday. Once you have built in this habit of a daily S.T.O.P., then make sure to build in strategic S.T.O.P.s at least four times each year to make sure you are in alignment and to identify what you must start doing, keep doing, and what you should stop doing to better lead for the results that you are being paid to deliver.
Everyone is busy. The important question is, are you busy doing the right things?
ABOUT CHARLES GOOD
Charles Good is the president of The Institute for Management Studies, which provides transformational learning experiences that drive behavioral change and develop exceptional leaders. Charles is an innovative and resourceful leader who specializes in bringing people together to develop creative organizational and talent strategies that enable business results. His areas of expertise include assessing organizational skill gaps and leading the design, creation and delivery of high impact, innovative learning solutions that achieve business goals.