Getting The Results You Deserve
A CEO whose company was experiencing significant underperformance, recently came to me for help. Actual revenue was far below projections, morale was falling, and his HR Director was questioning his management of an employee. The CEO admitted that he had been riding one of his managers too hard, but it was clear to me and most of his team that this was not his MO – he was respected by almost everyone. He was wearing under the pressure of performance. He wasn’t achieving the results he desired.After some discussion with the CEO and his team, we all learned the following:
- Financials results were indeed off target with poor cash flow.
- The CEO and his team had focused more and more on long hours at the office and more meetings to discuss the “issues” that seemed to always arise.
- There were multiple complaints about a lack of clarity in expectations and direction from the CEO.
Yes, many of us have participated or even led such dysfuction, because we can easily retreat into a defensive approach to management at the time when inspired and results-focused leadership are desperately required. After some work with his team and 1:1 coaching, the CEO took these steps:
- He reviewed performance expectation on a 1:1 basis with his top managers and resolved some ambiguities and questions.
- Within two weeks the CEO led a re-forecasting of anticipated results for the remaining eight months of the year, with the initial budget left in place as a “stake in the ground” for comparison purposes.
- Expectations were restated in terms of measurable performance standards and office hours were deemphasized.
There is always more to the picture than a consultant puts in a missive like this, but here is a view six months later:
- Financial results are overall in line with the reforecast.
- The office mood is more focused, yet also more relaxed.
- There is much less time spent in meetings.
- The HR Director left.
Did they get the results they deserved? Yes, and I think this is always the case. You deserve good or even great results, but you need to act in a disciplined manner to get there. If you don’t, you may have some pretty good results by accident, but you won’t trust them. Bottom line: Success generally comes from disciplined action in pursuit of your goals