Friday, August 19, 2016

what does doing a good job look like?

At a recent talk I gave to the faculty and staff of Concordia University Texas, someone said to me that it looked like I was doing a good job.  It was (I believe) meant as a compliment with a cautious caveat, one which I understand completely.  People will often tell me “you’re doing a good job” and, while I appreciate the words of encouragement, I remind them of three things: 1) the first year I did not know what I did not know; 2) the second year was spent putting into place the practices to address what I did not know the first year; and 3) the third year is spent seeing if the practices work.  So I appreciate the words of my colleague to whom it looks like I am doing a good AND I wonder what doing a good job looks like.  Perhaps leaders look like they are doing a good job when they:
  • Communicate with their constituencies regularly and consistently
  • Are transparent about the issues an organization faces
  • Present information in such a way that people understand what is being said
  • Present solutions to problems and actually fix them
  • Share success stories about the institution
  • Have a vision for where the organization is going – and are able to articulate that vision
  • Engage others in the process of moving the organization forward
  • Make hard decisions that might even prove to be unpopular
  • Explain the reasons behind decisions that are made – especially those that affect people’s lives
  • Walk around and talk with individuals face to face – and take the time to really listen*
  • Help people see how they fit into the big picture and that their work matters

 What does it mean to actually do a good job?  In a few simple points:
  • The organization has a positive end-of-year balance so that it can keep doing business in the future
  • The organization is living out its mission in a way that positively affects its outcomes
  • The organization is moving closer toward its vision
  • The organization has a healthy culture and is a place where people want to be
  • The organization’s customers are satisfied and recommending it to others
  • The organization is known for its quality product
  • The organization experiences growth that is planned for and serves the mission

 *leaders of large organizations may not be able to do this for all employees…but they can do for a few what they wish they could do for everyone

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