What do I do?

What are the top 5-7 responsibilities in my job?  The things that if I do them well will have the greatest impact on my success and the success of my team?

Can you answer this question?  This is the first question asked in the One on One form that I use with clients because it does one of two things:  1) Prioritizes a job description to a few key items that help define success in a role  2)  Creates a meaningful job description for someone that has never had one.

Ken Blanchard defines leaders as an influence process.  It is about working with people to accomplish their goals and the goals of the organization. The cornerstone of leadership is in the conversation around: What are you doing?  What should you be doing?  What can I do to help? If that conversation happens repeatedly over a 3-6 month timeframe things will get done if everyone involved makes a habit out of following through on their commitments.

Finally, here are three hints that will help guide you through this part of the job description:

  1. Don’t be too general. For example, when someone says Lead my team, it is too general.  At worst, I would plug in the Blanchard definition of leadership and make the measurement the simple activity of sitting down with each team member twice a month.
  2. Summarize repeated items. If there are 1o projects listed, that means managing projects is a core job requirement and the measure would be delivery, quality, cost, and customer satisfaction.
  3. Ask for input. Leaders, peers, customers will all have an opinion on this.  Ask them and use the input to create and clarify your list.

A study was done by the Ken Blanchard Companies and Training Magazine to define what were key motivating factors at work and who owned them?  A unique part of the survey was the ability to assign ownership to Myself, My Leader, or Senior Leadership.  In the end, the one organizational factor around motivation that was assigned to My Leader(80+% ownership) was performance expectations.

Remember to ask the question and have the patience to work towards a great answer.