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Establishing Focus is the ability to develop and communicate goals in support of the business's mission.Behaviors
An employee demonstrating this competency:
After a unit meeting to establish focus or develop a plan, conduct an exercise to “pro/con” the meeting. On a flip chart draw a vertical line and write “Pro” and “Con” at the top of each column. First ask people what went well. Capture responses in the “Pro” column. Then ask what could have been done better. Capture responses in the “Con” column.
Before a unit meeting to establish focus or develop a plan, review your agenda and planned process with someone whose judgment you respect. Ask for suggestions. After the meeting, ask a participant for feedback about your process and facilitation.
Interview someone who has successfully established focus for a business or organizational unit. Consider people both inside and outside of your organization and company. Ask that person to walk through the process. How did he/she decide to approach the task? Why? What specifically did he/she do? What would you have seen and heard if you had been present? Obtain descriptions of what happened at key meetings. What problems or issues arose? How did the person deal with these problems or issues? What, if anything, would the person do differently?
If you are coaching someone who is trying to develop this competency, you can:
• Model the process in your unit, so that the person you are managing can see how to go about this process.
• Arrange for the person to meet and talk with others in the organization who have established direction in their units.
• Meet with the person and the staff in his/her unit to explain the larger business goals and direction of your unit and provide your perspective on what the person’s unit needs to do to align itself with the direction of the larger unit.
• Help plan communications and provide your suggestions and feedback.
Competitive Strategy, by Michael Porter. New York, NY: Free Press, 2004.
Facilitation Skills: Helping Groups Make Decisions: Simple Steps to Help Groups & Teams Focus on the Issue and Build Agreement on Solutions, by Gregory B. Putz. Bountiful, UT: Deep Space Technology Co., 2002.
Leadership: Theory and Practice, by Peter G. Northouse. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2007.
Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions By Knowing What To Ask, by Michael J. Marquardt. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
Managing Beyond the Quick Fix: Managing Five Tracks to Organizational Success, by Ralph Kilmann. Beard Books, 2003.
On Becoming a Leader: The Leadership Classic, by Warren Bennis. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2003.
The Leadership Challenge: 3rd Edition, by J. M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Ltd., 2005. (Especially Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind)
The Solutions Focus: The S.I.M.P.L.E Way to Positive Change, by Paul Z. Jackson & Mark McKergow. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2002.
Applied Strategic Planning and Operational Planning. Three days. UA Consulting & Training Services. Tel. 520 322-6700 http://www.universityassociates.com/ASOPFull.html
Contemporary Leadership Part I: Leading with Focus and Intention. Three days. Cornell University-ILR. Tel. 212 340-2894. www.ilr.cornell.edu/mgmtprog/catalog/MD303.html
Improving Your Managerial Effectiveness. Three days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441. www.amanet.org/seminars/seminar.cfm?basesemno=2508
Leading With Results (Managing Performance – With Competence). Three-four days. Workitect, Inc. Tel. 800 870-9490. http://www.workitect.com/pdf/MP-WC.pdf
Managing Chaos: Tools to Set Priorities and Make Decisions Under Pressure. Two days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441 http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/Managing-Chaos-Tools-to-Set-Priorities-and-Make-Decisions-Under-Pressure.aspx
Managing Multiple Projects, Objectives and Deadlines. One day. SkillPath Seminars. Tel. 800 873-7545. www.skillpath.com/seminfo.html/st/MMPPD
Managing Multiple Priorities, Projects and Deadlines. One day. Fred Pryor Seminars. Tel. 800 780-8476 http://www.pryor.com/mkt_info/seminars/desc/MM.asp?zip=33306