Are You Rowing in the Same Direction?

There is a difference between a job description and what a person should be spending their time doing.  A job description is a tool used for hiring and training, so we know who to look for and what skill sets they have or need to acquire to fill their position.  But the real question is, what three to four things—if they get them right—make someone successful at their job? If you are an owner or leader in your company and people answer to you, do the following exercise.

Write down the top three or four most important things that the person (or people) answering to you should be doing with their time.  If you were to tell them the most important things you want them to be thinking about and spending their time on while at work, what would those be and what would they look like?  What would their perfect day be?

If you work for someone else in any capacity, write down the top three or four most important things you think your boss wants you doing. How do they want you to spend your day?

Now if you are the “boss,” have your team members write down what they think you want them doing, and what they think the most important items they should be thinking about and spending his time on are. Now compare the two things.  You might be surprised.

Most team members, most employees, do not know what the top things are that will make them successful in your eyes. The frustration is what they think are the most important things and what you think are the most important things may be completely different. What if you are running your company or practice thinking that your team is thinking and doing one thing, and it turns out they are thinking and doing something completely different? The horse is off the farm. You cannot be successful. And yet, most of us have been in this very situation.  Each of your team members, each of your direct reports, should know EXACTLY what you expect of them.  Not in a formal boss kind of way, but really understand what you want them spending their time on.

The key to a successful practice or business is to have everyone rowing in the same direction.  It sounds like common sense, but the irony of common sense is how uncommon it is. Most practices and companies I have visited do not run like this at all. The employees think one thing and the managers or bosses think something completely different. What about your customers, what about your spouse, or your kids?

Start rowing in the same direction.

Living Every Minute,

Dr. Tim

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