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Multiple contributions define your performance as a leader. Contributions from yourself and your team are easiest to manage. With increasing business complexity a larger share of your performance come from peer organizations. To secure consistent personal performance you need to manage yourself, your team and your peers.
Your own contributions
The starting point for a solid personal performance is to work with your own contributions. Driven by the business goals and priorities defined by your superiors. Contributions from both strategy development and execution of tactical plans need to be combined.
The financial results are the number one performance priority. Great performance in other areas cannot compensate for poor financial results. The financial targets are the most important measures defining your performance.
Businesses include additional objectives as part of balanced scorecards. Here businesses consider a large number of possible metrics often with stretched ambitions. A tough challenge is often to understand the order of priority between these measures.
The contributions from your team
Independently if you lead a team or are part of a team, you depend on the team to perform. Solid own contributions are not enough in a more complex business world. This reality is perhaps the most difficult challenge to deal with for both team leaders and team members.
For team leaders you need a team composition to support the mission. Having the right competence in place has always been a priority. The new challenge is to develop your team to match changes in the environment. Define clear goals for the team. Challenge the competence you need. Review if the structure is right.
As a team member you need to aspire to raise your own performance bar. It is important to both perform better in your current team and to get ready to perform in your next team. As a team member it is easiest to focus on what you have strongest influence over. But your performance might be more dependent on the goals where you are more dependent on the team.
Contributions from adjacent teams
The final contributing factor is how teams you are dependent on perform. Sales teams are dependent on contributions from marketing, operations and product development. Poor performance in adjacent teams changes your ability to deliver but not your own performance targets.
At a first glance it is simple. As long as all teams perform the aggregated performance is on track. But in reality you need to manage situations where one or several adjacent teams struggle to perform. Your performance in such a situation is to compensate for weak teams and gaps in goals between teams.
It is easy to come up with ideas for how others can change to perform better. But a more constructive way is to influence peer teams by taking strong ownership over the performance in your own team. Over-performing teams can to some extent compensate for under-performing teams.
Questions for you and your team
- How well do I perform as a leader – start with yourself and your contribution.
- How well does my team perform – are we winning or losing.
- What is my relative contribution to the team – be honest to yourself and articulate if your contributions is above or below average in the team.
- Which adjacent teams are affecting the performance of my team – know who you are dependent on.
- Will the sum of all contributions be enough to perform – focus on weak performance areas and how strong areas can compensate.
- Which changes can allow us to perform better – act on required changes in capabilities and structure on team level while you can.
Additional reading suggestions
- How to help employees take ownership of their work [BLOGPOST] – by SoapBox
- 3 ways to create an ownership mentality in your team [BLOGPOST] – by The Muse
- How to reduce dependencies and manage the ones you have [BLOGPOST] by Mingle
- Nine ways to contribute to project team success [BLOGPOST] – by Project Smart
- How to get your employees to take ownership of their jobs [BLOGPOST] – by WildWomen for Business