Archives for category: Leadership

What if there was a simple mental model you could use as a tool to quickly assess the likelihood that the people you lead will be able to deliver what you ask of them?

As leaders, we know that to be most effective we need to “know our people.” Knowing, acknowledging, valuing, and appreciating your people is one aspect of knowing your people. But today we are talking about knowing how each stack up when assessing them using the WAG – the “Willing and Able Grid.”

The Willing and Able (WAG) Grid

The Willing and Able (WAG) Grid

When it comes to increasing the quality and/or quantity of work, putting the right people on the right projects is for sure what we attempt to do. When we are after higher levels or better quality of production, we often prod or gently push our people to grow, develop, and improve. But are they equipped to do what we ask?

Using the “Willing and Able Grid” provides leaders a quick snapshot of your team members – which can then be used to develop your people as you strive to bring the best output of each.

With a certain project, endeavor, or a specific type of improvement you want to see in a direct report, where on the “Unwilling or Willing” continuum would you plot them?

Where would you plot them on the Willing Continuum?

Where would you plot them on the Willing Continuum?

What evidence do you see and hear that causes you to assess if one of your people possesses a heart attitude of willingness or unwillingness to do, grow, or change the way you are asking?

Related to the change, work, project results, or growth you want to see in this team member, what indicates to you that this person is Unwilling or Willing? Think of hitting “Replay” on an imaginary video cam in the corner of all workspaces to review the facts of how this person displays and conveys an attitude of willingness or unwillingness.

Obviously we are looking for “Willing” souls who desire to grow, improve, and take on challenges. So when we assess a team member and find the scales tip toward “Unwillingness,” we may have some potential coaching to do. We may need to prepare and hold a direct conversation about the display of this attitude. That’s when the Replay function of the “camera in the corner” becomes useful. We can share as factually as possible (since a camera doesn’t lie) what we’ve seen, and check our perceptions. Hopefully we can nurture the desire within this team member to grow and improve.

When assessing who the best person is for a project or endeavor, or when you consider a specific type of improvement you want to see in a direct report, where on the “Unable to Able” continuum would you plot them?

Where would you plot them on the Able Continuum?

Where would you plot them on the Able Continuum?

Sometimes when we get focused on the outcomes we are after, we forget to assess the ability level of those we lead. Does she currently possess the Ability to do what I am asking or expecting? Does he demonstrate the aptitude to become Able to meet the expectation?

As you honestly reflect on the ability level of one of your people related to a specific project or aspect of growth, if you find that he may truly be Unable to execute on your expectations today, then you know the responsibility rests on you as the leader to help him develop that ability. You will either need to provide opportunities for this person to learn, develop, and become Able, or you will need to look to others to get that job done.

Finding one of your team members to be more Unable than Able related to a certain project or aspect of growth isn’t a bad thing! This new awareness provides us as leaders the opportunity to design an individualized plan of development for each of our people.

Using the “Willing and Able Grid” allows us to discern if what we are asking our people to do is going to get done! It allows us to discover how we can approach communicating with our people, optimally getting the most out of each of our people – because when our attitude is Willing, and our skill-set is Able, progress is on the horizon.

~ Written by Dr. Heidi Scott, Leadership Consultant, Speaker and Coach      www.LearningPursuits.com

Advertisements

What are the 1 or 2 values that you wish were embraced and lived out by those you work with? When it comes to the team you lead, what value do you hold that you wish those on your team held to the same degree of importance?

What 1-2 values top your list? What would you name or call that value that is most important to you? These could range from a varying list of examples like integrity, honesty, win-at-all-costs, people-over-profit, kindness, collaboration, results-driven, or ?? Generally, think of your values as those important things that do not change with time or due to challenges, threats to success, or wild success. What values rise to the top of your values list as you mentally sift through the myriad possibilities? Jot down 1-2 (or possibly 3) values that are most meaningful to you.

1. Name the Values Most Important to You

How will you define the top 1-2 values that you’d like to see embraced by those you work with and lead? Assumptions get us nearly every time! Let’s be sure that we are not setting ourselves or our teams up for frustration by assuming that “everyone knows what this means,” because they may not define a value just like you do. Describe the dictionary-definition and meaning of each value that you named above.

2. Define the Values Most Important to You

Image

Paper and Pen Work

What does each of these values look like when they are being lived out? How can you describe the behaviors and actions associated with each of these values most important to you? Consider your workplace and team culture. Think about how interactions of team members and those you lead may look and sound when these values are in action.

3. Describe the Behavioral Impact of Each Value

The process of naming, defining, and behaviorally describing each value that you want to live out – AND that you desire those you lead to embrace and live out is powerful for a few reasons. First, it helps you clarify for yourself what values you desire to govern your behavior. Second, it provides you a tangible way to share these values with those they lead. The shared definition of each value helps you all speak the same language. The behavioral description of the values you share provides a pictorial way for others to imagine themselves relative to this value. And third, when you share these values, this equips those on your team to modify their behaviors and attitudes in order for the team to function in a more unified manner as the collective team espouses the same values.

Image

Technology works, too. Just capture your ideas!

 

4. Share the Values That Matter Most to You with Those You Lead … And Live Them!

Authentically leading from your heart and mind by sharing your top values represents a powerful aspect of the art of leadership. Knowing and sharing the values that matter most to you provide underpinnings of crafting your vision storyline of where you are leading. Or conversely, if you have already written your Vision Storyline for where you are leading, most likely the values that matter most are described in your vision, because they naturally came from your heart.

Great leaders are continually learning. Great leaders are continually developing.

Image

When will you share your values with your team?

I invite you to use these 4 steps to craft your values as a jump-start toward powerful leadership in your learning pursuits.

By Dr. Heidi Scott   – The Leader’s Consultant, Speaker, Trainer & Coach  http://www.LearningPursuits.com

At a high school basketball game with cross-town rivals, compassion stirred within me as a boy was wheeled to the center court at half-time to say “thank you” to the community for supporting him in his 4-month battle to survive a football game head injury. I had been at that big rivalry game. I had been one in a massive crowd that watched that motionless player get loaded into an ambulance.

A wave of compassion washed over me for this once strong and agile football boy who was now subdued in his wheelchair and overwhelmed by stands filled with fans at a wild basketball game. Compassion in considering the grief, loss, sadness, and many struggles his mother behind the wheelchair must still be going through settled in me. I want to take action to help them survive and get through this. If there had been an opportunity for attendees at this packed game to give money right then and there to help this family, I am confident it would have quadrupled the game proceeds benefit check raised and given to them during this halftime. Because nearly every parent I could see around me had eyes brimming with tears…as compassion filled them, along with gratefulness for our healthy sons.

As I reflect on being more compassionate this first month of the year, I do so with a desire to allow and then embrace the feelings of compassion I may have for others I interact with, or come across in my days.

Last week at a downtown red light on a cold January morning, I watched a man with a homeless sign smile brightly at drivers in cars ahead of me. “My Name is JAMES I’m homeless & could use any help” his cardboard sign read.

Will I engage my heart?

He waved a type of joyous, “Good Morning!” to folks as they hoped the red light would change to green so they could hurry to their jobs – to make money… to not have to make eye contact with James or to ever have to hold a sign like that. I felt compassion for James. Fortunately, during this red light, I embraced compassion and took a few needed steps of action to live compassion. It was quite simple.

I dug through my purse and car ashtray, finding a few piles of loose bills. “But what if I need cash later?” fleeted through my mind. Oh, that rational, “safe” voice with an edge of selfish care! “Then I’ll use a card,” my heart spoke to my mind. I am so thankful that I have work, money, a home, a car; I am glad I’m not James, and I hope this helps him in a small way.

With that, the light turned green, I hit the auto-window roll-down button on my passenger side, and waved at this man. He quickly came to my car as I rolled forward to him and stopped momentarily, backing up traffic for 3 seconds. “James,” I said as I handed him the cash, “may God bless you today,” I said. And we shared a smile while he verbally thanked me.

I am certain that some motorist farther behind me didn’t get through that red light because of the 3-second delay I caused by acting on my compassion with James. And I am OK with that!

Compassion is authentic when it moves you to action. True compassion transforms our behaviors.

How can I be on the alert this week – even today? What experience will I allow to slow me in my tracks? What observance will I choose to move me to action to compassionately help someone?