Combining a robust leader standard work routine with setting and hitting targets can be a powerhouse that delivers results! It’s not just a shot in the dark!
If you have followed my posts, you’ll know that I’ve been a strong proponent of leader standard work (LSW) for a long time, however, I was reminded recently of the power of combining standard work and the setting and hitting of targets.
Each month I reset my standard work for the new month. It starts by reviewing the previous month and reflecting on what worked, didn’t work and why, and identifying any new priorities. Then the baseline is revised by making some adjustments, adding or deleting tasks, or changing the frequency of some tasks. I also include certain non-work items within my LSW. These are things that are for personal or professional development, important family responsibilities, or when I’m trying to create a new habit.
Although this is a personal example, it still shows the power of combining LSW and targets. At the beginning of last month when I was doing my LSW review I found that I was not happy with my daily exercise results. It had been very inconsistent. Although I was running, the frequency was very intermittent and inconsistent. There were always reasons why for each miss, but when seeing the results for the month, none of them mattered, the result was the result and it wasn’t what I wanted. So, I decided I needed to do something about it! First, I added a “Daily Exercise” task to my LSW, and second, I set a distance target for the month.
The month started off well. I was exercising more regularly and I was well on my way to achieve my distance target. It was working! Then, by conscious choice, I missed about a week. With about a week to go in the month, even if I got back to my routine, I wouldn’t make my distance target. At least, not doing what I had been doing before the break in the routine. I couldn’t make up for the days I didn’t exercise, but I could do something different for the days remaining in the month.
I changed the time of day when I would exercise. This helped overcome some of the challenges (a.k.a excuses) that were creating barriers to my daily exercise. Then, I started running further than I had been before to make up some of the distance. Some may consider running further than usual was somewhat cheating, and perhaps it was since the intent was not the distance per se, but rather to exercise regularly. However, on more than one occasion in that final week of the month, I exercised when I probably wouldn’t have. I had a strong desire to hit and exceed my distance target, AND, I wanted to check off my LSW each day indicating that I had exercised. It worked, I exceeded my distance target with a day to spare, but I ran the last day of the month anyway so that I would have exercised every single day for that last week.
Maybe a simple personal example, but combining LSW and targets is a powerful tool and is equally effective in a business environment. The target will give you the motivation to keep working at it and to find ways to achieve it, while the LSW will give you the reminder and sometimes push to take the necessary steps, or to complete the appropriate tasks, necessary to achieve the target.
In summary, here’s a few key points:
- Reflect on your LSW each month and reset it based on lessons learned and new priorities.
- LSW can include personal and professional items. It’s yours, so make it work for you!
- Set challenging targets, then look at how to combine with LSW to assist in achieving the targets.
- Don’t beat yourself up for missing some LSW items when looking back, but rather figure out why you missed them and implement mitigation actions to achieve them going forward.
For more information on setting up and using leader standard work, check out this other post “Leader Standard Work is for, well, EVERYONE!”
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4 thoughts on “Leader Standard Work & Hitting Targets”
Love this post and the post on LSW is for everyone. Do you see any differences with LSW and habit trackers? Can you give some examples of leadership behaviours you use daily, weekly and monthly. Really enjoy following you Glenn. Your emails visit my inbox at just the right frequency to be helpful and inspiring. Thank you
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Thanks Stephanie! Glad you are enjoying the posts. To some extent LSW and habit trackers are similar. Two main differences from my POV is that 1) LSW should include specificand important items that even once a habit has been formed, should remain to ensure they don’t get forgotten or fall off when things get crazy busy! 2) Habit trackers typically breakdown longer term problematic habits into “micro-habits” first and build up to the ultimate desired habit. LSW doesn’t necessarily provide that luxury when it comes to business related responsibilities that just have to get done in their entirety right from the get go. Make sense? Certainly some similarities. Remember, use the best tool that works for you and your situation!
As for some operational leadership examples: daily: review metrics dashboard and leave a comment; weekly: deep dive quality results; monthly: review hiring status. As for examples of personal leadership behaviours: daily: 5′ learning; weekly: 1 hour long term thinking; monthly: goals/objectives review.
Thanks Glenn, makes sense and very useful, great answers. I’m inspired!
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