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Mind the Gap

How to Continually Deliver Great Results – Time after Time!

Posted by Sarah Hobbs

If you aspire to a reputation for leading high-performance teams, it’s critical to deliver consistently high results. Stunning ‘one-off’ achievements can be impressive in the short-term but will not, on their own, build your team’s long-term brand. Here’s how to build your ability to deliver great results consistently.

Let’s assume you’ve just moved into a new management role, or taken on a new team, and have to get to grips with how your team contributes towards organisational success – fast!

Agree the key deliverables
First, make sure you know what the key deliverables are for the team, how they contribute to the overall strategy and organisational success and help other teams succeed. Without the bigger picture, you may miss opportunities to drive effective change.

Are these deliverables feasible? Who pulled them together? What are they based on? Are the underlying assumptions accurate? Review them carefully. If you’ve any doubts, raise the issue now with your stakeholders. Be clear why the original goals won’t work and outline new goals that you are sure you can deliver on time and to specification.

Review the talent and potential in your team
It’s critical to get the right people doing the right tasks, where they can shine.
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses? Are you deploying these to best effect, or could reshuffling responsibilities to the people best suited to them give an immediate jump in performance?

  • Who’s coasting and needs a new challenge to boost their productivity?

  • Who’s lacking experience and eager to learn? Partner them with a more experienced high-performing team member who can develop their skills and knowledge and boost their productivity.

  • Who’s a solid performer, delivering quality results consistently? Ensure they are feeling engaged and valued. These people will provide excellent cover for you whilst you take early action – moving around managing stakeholders, gathering the resources your team needs to deliver, refocusing the team’s efforts to what’s really needed and ensuring everyone is aware of the overall strategy for success.

  • If you’ve under-performers in the team make sure they are aware of the contribution that’s required and why anything less just won’t work. Give them a chance to improve and support them with any resources required. Follow-up on their progress in good time so they know you are serious about performance management.
Deploy good planning and organisational skills
Make sure that you deliver on your promises and show that you mean business. You might use project management tools like Gantt charts, and will certainly hold regular meetings so you always know the exact state of progress.
  • Progress reviews with your team and your manager

  • Budget reviews vs financial targets

  • Stakeholder reviews to keep them informed – what good or promising data can you share? Collect hard evidence of improvement!
If detail isn’t your strong point find someone in your team who ‘aces’ this to track progress and keep you updated.

Remain calm under pressure
There are bound to be setbacks along the way. How you deal with these will set the tone: establishing a learning culture or blame culture, high energy or low morale, achievement focus or defeatism. Your leadership will either energise and protect the team, or lower their energy and commitment. Others will be watching your performance.

Finally, make sure you follow through on your commitments relentlessly. If you don’t, people will assume you are not serious about the targets you set, the issues you raise, or the standards you say you require.

Your reputation and that of your team depend on your ability to deliver quality results time after time – and to act like high performers even where times are tough. Deliver consistently and you will soon build a reputation as a leader of a high-performance team who can be relied on to deliver consistent results. Resources will be more readily available because of the trust consistently reliable performance brings. Talented people will want to join your team, making recruitment easier. What is one of the key differences between high performing CEO’s and ‘the rest’? Reliable delivery. So why not ‘hang out’ with the best!