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Leadership Insights from Santa Claus

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Linda Drevenstedt's picture
Joined: 27 Sep 2012 can Santa Claus get all those gifts delivered to boys and girls around the globe?


Here's Five Quick (not necessarily easy) Leadership Delegation Steps:

  1. Choose wisely.
    Not all people can handle delegation. Your leadership job is to choose the person who can most likely succeed at the task you are delegating. Remember delegation is not abdication. You are not giving a task to someone and leaving the person on their own.
  2. Define the results you want.
    Delegation works best when you have an objective job or task measurement. For example, when I took over managing a dental practice, the Insurance Receivables were outrageous. I met with the best person to tackle the task. I gave her the clear result of "No Insurance Receivables Outstanding over 90 Days within the next 90 days". Be clear with the results you expect: timeline, specific numbers (less than one open hygiene appointment per day), etc.
  3. Define the task and the task purpose.
    Delegation works best when you define the task specifically with your practice standards coupled with the purpose of the task.
    Millennials especially need to know why the task is important and how it fits the overall purpose of the practice. Millennials do not like rote tasks.
    Make a task checklist of the steps in an outline format. Think airline pilot checklist - short and to the point beginning with an action verb. If this is a computer based task, capture step-by-step screen shots of the task. OR, if your software has a tutorial for this task, ask the person to take the tutorial before you get together for the training.
  4. Show, Tell, Do the task with them.
    Let the person watch you first and take any notes that they want. They may want to capture you doing the task on their cell phone video.
    Let them do the task while you coach. During your first observation of the person doing the task, give lots of coaching. Then, let them do the task without interruption. Next, stop and ask, "How do you think you did?" This way you know if they think they got it all right. If you know there are areas to improve, then say, "I think you did a good job. May I coach you a little more in a spot or two? I want you to be a success at this." Ask if they have any questions about completing the task to the standard you require.
    When you are delegating, or training new hires, be sure to be gentle and kind as you do so. Too much correction can spoil their desire to do the task. A training that is too stern can place fear in the heart of the learner. Fear stops learning.
  5. Inspect what you expect with follow-up.
    Do not leave them alone with the task too long without follow-up and additional coaching. One training is usually not enough. Plan for a follow-up when you, again, let them perform the task while you observe. Provide feedback early and often to get them off on the right foot with the task.
    Once you decide that they have it, then put check-ins on your schedule. When will they meet with you and show you the Aging Report, the broken appointment numbers and other relevant data, etc.? Find an objective measure that the person can share with you as an ongoing check-in.

Here are four more leadership insights from Santa Claus...

Q: Where does Santa get the stamina to keep going all night long to be sure gifts are under the tree before dawn?

A: Red Bull™ because it is RED ☺ What is the secret to getting all those toys, games, dolls and bicycles made for Christmas delivery?

A: Training and quality control

Q: How can St. Nick always have the latest electronic toys and games?

A: Constant innovation and customer feedback.

Q: What in world can Santa do with an oddball reindeer?

A: Understand his/her uniqueness and let that shine. Go Rudolph!

NOTE:  To view the complete version of this article, download the attached PDF file.

Linda Drevenstedt
Drevenstedt Consulting LLC
Ventura, CA

Decemberl2016eSSENTIALs.pdf218.86 KB
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Linda Drevenstedt
Drevenstedt Consulting LLC
Ventura, CA