People respect what leaders inspect. The more leaders review, the more respect is given to the inspection. Attention is given when attention is demanded.
Today's column is a continuation of a series about the observable impact of a leader. Effective leadership is visible. There are four key ways in which we can observe the impact of a leader. This week we have considered team unity and the leader's direction as visible signs of the work of a leader. Today we will consider repetition as the third observable impact of leadership.
I remember my mother asked us often, "How many times do I have to tell you this?" I learned the hard way that her question was rhetorical. The day I answered her question, "I guess, one more time" was the day I gleaned great insight to rhetoric.
Pay close attention to the frequency of a leader's message. Effective leaders use every medium to emphasize a desired behavior or goal.
Leaders will speak it, write it, cheer it, and maybe post it on the bathroom door.
As leaders manage by walking around they will frequently inspect adherence to various messages. For example:
- Answer the phone on one ring
- Stand up when someone comes into your office
- Focus on this ONE project today
Leaders issue many thoughts and directives but probably have few messages. The key messages will be accompanied by inspection.
I had a season in my life in which I visited many television stations every year. I developed a routine inspection list based on what I had communicated to the teams on multiple occasions. No one should have ever been surprised that I asked to see a file of prospective hires. I believe in bench strength so I inspected the recruiting and hiring process. (Great teams are assembled with proactive recruiting.)
I frequently ask leaders, "Does your team know what matters most to you?" The follow-up question is most telling, "Do you inspect the things that matter most to you?"
Pay attention to what you inspect, leaders. Don't be surprised if what you don't inspect—gets back-burnered.
Our teams sense their priorities based on their perception of importance to leadership.
If you care about it, watch it with frequency.
"He arose and went from there to the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan, and the people came to Him again. And again, as was His custom, He taught them" (Mark 10:1).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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