One of my favorite things about the end of the year besides the obvious, Christmas!!!, is the different shows and articles about the top 10’s of the year. The top 10 songs, the top 10 movies, the top 10 news stories, etc. As a leader you should also have a top 10 list or maybe even a few different top 10 lists. Here’s what I mean… Often as leaders we focus on the problems and what isn’t working. While we shouldn’t ignore issues and problems, it’s important to understand that we should also be spending time reflecting on what has worked best for our organization.
Here’s a primary leadership principle… focus on what’s working and repeat it. This should take up to about 80% of your leadership focus. In other words, what has been your best performing department or division? Who are your top performing employees? What were your best months or weeks? While there may not be a top 10 in each of these questions at least come up with the top one or three. Find out and understand why those “bests” have been so remarkable. What is that department or that employee doing? What processes are in place to make it successful? Why is that employee performing at such a high level and how are his talents being used? What made that best month such a success. As 2012 approaches, begin the process of applying and implementing those “bests” of 2011 into other areas of the organization.