How To Stay Focused On What Really Matters For Your Organisation Despite The Constant Fires

You as a tech leader must do so much with limited resources, while keeping up with technology, managing a remote workforce that spans multiple generations and countries, and do it all in an incredibly volatile economy.

Day in and day out, you are constantly putting out fires which makes it a challenge to stay focused on the big picture. Especially on the non-operational things that are less tangible than the deadline next week, like vision or culture.

Here is an idea that many leaders already use worldwide for paying attention to what really matters. I bet you are using the concept already, just in other areas of your work: it is the one-pager!

The Leader’s Dashboard is a simple one-page tool that summarises the most important things on the leader’s plate. It is way more than the performance metrics, consisting of a succinct summary of 8 areas:

  • Vision: It is important to have a compelling vision, both for your own career as well as for your organization. That way, when work pulls you in multiple directions you keep perspective.
  • The organisation’s purpose and mission: aka why you are doing what you are doing. What’s the higher purpose? How are people better off because of your work and your organization’s work? What contribution are you making?
  • Values: When you find yourself under pressure, values help you to persevere and thrive. It is important to be clear about both your personal values and the values of your organization, and that both fit!
  • Strategic edge: What talents and skills do you have that are valuable? How does your organization define its edge in the marketplace?
  • Top 3 initiatives: What projects help your organization better serve customers, be more competitive, and achieve its performance metrics? Many of you take on initiatives that bear little relationship to the strategy, mission, or performance metrics.
  • Key performance indicators to track success: Ultimately, you are paid to perform. However, it is not always easy to define what performance means for their career and for the organization.
  • Relationships: Managers get results by working with people, rarely by individually contributing.
  • Top strategies to build organisational capacity: Both you and your team must continuously evolve, learn, and improve. You want to build on strengths, adopt more effective behaviors, and learn new skills and knowledge.
You can also create a career/professional dashboard covering the same areas, except for your own career. That way, you can clearly see whether you are aligned with the organisation’s direction or not, and the steps to take if there are gaps in alignment.

And what if everyone created a one-page dashboard in your team, managers and individual contributors alike? You could put the result on display next to your desks or in a team-wiki… When you do this exercise properly, everyone is aligned, focused on what matters, and accountable. Each dashboard rolls up into the larger whole – using only a single sheet of paper!

The process is extraordinary because it is so simple, practical and powerful. No expensive software is needed. No teams of consultants need to swoop in. Rather, with a little facilitation and coaching, each member of the organisation gets clarity about what really counts.

For more information about the Leader’s Dashboard, and to take a free self-assessment about how aligned and accountable your organisation is, click here.

Your next step

Reading this post is nice. You know what would be even nicer? If you...

  1. Actually filled in this self-assessment above. Click here to spark more ideas for your leadership!
  2. Took pen to paper, created an action plan to address the results of your assessment. I'm here if you need guidance.
  3. Joined my next masterclass on "8 Techniques For Engaging Your Team Strategically". Register here!

I would love to hear from you and help you explore ways to increase the engagement within your team!

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  • +46 761 079 241
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