Do you know your job? Really know your job.
There are several aspects to knowing your job well. The basics include …
- The outcomes required for successful performance of the job.
- The tasks required to successfully perform your job.
- The knowledge of how to do the tasks.
- The ability to skillfully perform the tasks.
Now, add to the list the executive management tasks that are skillfully executed: communication, decision making, prioritization, delegation, accountability, feedback, and building the culture.
So, do you know your job?
Understand the outcomes required — a key to know your job
It starts with understanding the outcomes required.
As an owner or manager in a small business you will need to …
- Get a good team in place.
- Improve team performance.
- Attract new customers or projects.
- Increase profits and revenue and improve results.
The list continues through products, services, pricing, marketing, sales, production, acquisition and host of other items that may find their way on the outcomes list.
Getting the right outcomes in place is of strategic importance and relies on you, your strengths, talents, blind spots, biases and what you want. Understanding the right outcomes results from a thoughtful strategic planning process.
The tasks to perform your job are typical for any manager.
- Clarify values and the “ways we do things around here.” This sets or resets the culture. It defines the way decisions are made. It guides the interactions with each other and customers.
- Create a vision bigger than the company or project so that you and your team can grab a hold of it and push to new levels of results.
- Set goals that fit your culture and achieve your vision.
- Insure there are processes defined to carry out the tasks. If they need definition then define them.
Are you and your team trained to do the tasks?
Make training a priority of your organization.
The most successful companies carry out training at all levels in the organization on an on-going basis. Even professionals have to prove they performed a certain amount training in the form of continuing professional education credits each year.
CPAs, engineers, doctors all need a certain number continuing education credits each year to stay sharp and at the top of their game.
So, you too can stay sharp and top of your game by having some amount of periodic training for each level in the organization.
- Technical training for specialists.
- Project management training for project managers.
- Marketing and sales training.
- Managerial training for new and experienced managers.
- Executive leadership training for executives.
Develop the skills
Skill development sits squarely on top of training and knowledge. However, skill training is a lot more than simply knowing what to do.
Anyone can read a book, attend a seminar, watch a video and “know” what to do. If skill development were really that simple we wouldn’t need surgeons, pilots, negotiators, accountants, plumbers, carpenters … we’d youtube it all … and the world would be mediocre.
In a company, the planning process is key to developing skills at the managerial and executive levels. It offers a way to make adjustments and corrections quickly. This implies the planning process happens often. Yes, it needs to happen at least monthly, if not weekly at some level.
At the tactical level, skill development comes from assigned mentors to people who are developing specific tactical skills. Weekly or even daily working sessions while doing the work increases effectiveness quickly.
As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to carry out all these. By definition, as a business owner and GM, you are not a specialist with one front to tackle, you have several areas to initiate, plan, oversee and manage.
Okay, I buy it, but it sounds overwhelming!
Yes, especially if you try to do it all at once.
Start one step at a time. To know your job and execute it skillfully requires a planning process in place to clarify the direction and which steps to take.
It will take time and commitment. It will also pay off handsomely.
If done thoughtfully, the planning process will put confidence in your decisions and activities, clarity in your direction, and skills in your actions.
There is help
Seek help to sort out this, sometimes, confusing process.
Don’t go solo on this most important task. Get some help, a mentor, a coach.
As an executive business coach I offer 30 minutes free to discuss your situation.
I’ve done it, experienced it, been coached through it, studied it, and I help others in your position, let’s see if I can help you. See my bio >>
Give me a call at 503-753-9971 or email me at phil@PhilBride.com