PRO-vocative IDEAS from PRO
President's Resource Organization

We are pleased to send you this PRO-vocative IDEAS e-letter. Each issue brings you a Thought PRO-voking Idea designed to help you run your business better. If you don't want to receive these monthly emails, just click the Remove button below.

These ideas don't come out of an Ivory Tower, but from the real-life experience of entrepreneurs like you. At PRO, Presidents' Resource Organization, the owners of small businesses gather monthly to share problems, and work towards solutions, based on their own lessons learned. PRO members move their companies to the next level through this peer group interfacing.

Here's an example of a PRO-vocative idea and the discussion leading to it:

When Goals Aren't Met, Whose Fault Is It?

Member Problem: 

A PRO Board member complained that his personnel do not meet their goals for project completion or for results on a timely basis. What can he do to reverse this internal performance?

PRO Advisory Board Recommendations:

Larry: Are you sure you've set reasonable, obtainable goals, or are they wishful thoughts? Assuming they are reasonable and attainable, do you ask your people for their confirmation and acceptance of them?

Audrey: Following up on Larry's question, do you have milestones to measure against, so you can track progress and identify potential problems? What is your personal follow up system?

George: Before we can suggest possible solutions, we have to know if your people actually have the skills, tools, and personal drive to execute and achieve. Also, do you overload your people with many goals and projects or do you prioritize them by importance?

Keith: The group has cited many real concerns and my guess is that you have accepted inadequate performance in the past, and therefore you do not have a must-perform culture.

Jody: Building on that, if your people are not doers and achievers, it may very well be because your past acceptance of inadequate performance has conditioned them. This problem really starts with you, and you have to be the first to change if you're going to lead the way to a change in attitude within the company.

Frank: From things you've said at previous sessions, I suspect your compensation and reward policies have contributed to the situation. You have rewarded your people based on longevity and loyalty and not on performance. This signals you have accepted their past behavior.

Matthew: These are all good points, but I am concerned about the dialogue within the company between you and your employees. Do your people challenge you? Do they present the tradeoffs to accomplish the goals? In other words, do you unilaterally state the goals, times, etc.? You need to have a robust dialogue with your people so you can all understand reality. Your job is to learn and know the reality of the capabilities of your people and your company.

Jason: Do you have an overall strategy that your goals and projects are tied into? When the company is behind in accomplishment, the boss has to go into a coaching mode to help your people achieve success. The key requirement of leadership is execution. If you don't have execution, you cannot have achievement.

Facilitator's Comment:

The number one responsibility is execution. Many people think that strategy is number one, but without execution you cannot fulfill your strategy. The keystone to execution is having the right people in the right places. You must have people who are doers and who like to accomplish - people who are not satisfied to just do the job but people who get great satisfaction from achievement.

It is also important that leadership create an execution culture. This is done by understanding and knowing reality, setting priorities, and having a reward and compensation system that gives great rewards for great performance. Doing a job should not be adequate. It has to be doing a great job. The culture within your company is set by your behavior, your acceptance, and your coaching.

Dialogue is a must. You must have people who will state their thoughts, feeling, ideas, and give you feedback. You must tell people clearly what results you are looking for, and discuss with them how to get those results. You must establish milestones to measure, so coaching can take place or necessary changes made. It is not uncommon for management to accept below average or average performance because of the fear and pain of change. If you don't face this fear and pain, you will never become an execution driven company.

In short, the right people will create the right strategy, with the right priorities, with the right goals, motivated by the right rewards, for the right organization.

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