Preface: Originally posted for an October edition of our weekly newsletter, this addresses our Key Concept 4 within the Managing with Aloha philosophy; the Role of the Manager Reconstructed.
Good managers shift focus in October.
One of the first things which comes to the management mind when we mention “finishing well” is, how are we doing on the goals we’ve set? How much time do we reasonably have left? Who must I follow-up with, or report my progress (or not…) to?
If you’re a manager, and you set year-end as the deadline for your goals, your time is already up.
Do your self-reckoning on the goals you set for yourself, and be okay with finishing well by rewriting and restructuring them with a new deadline. This is the time to focus on your others—your direct reports, and your key peer and network relationships, by being the manager who supports and coaches them in finishing well with their goals.
Aim for finishing all 2019 goals before the holidays. It’s kind and compassionate, however it’s also realistic and feasible—buckle in for some deep, satisfying work before you start dipping into that Halloween candy!
We tend to be overly generous with ourselves when goal-setting is originally penned, and there’s always a faster way to achieve our goals, especially when we find the best way to achieve them, is to update and restructure them. This can be creative and worthwhile work for the manager who coaches others, and offers the understanding, support and partnership necessary with freshening up any expectations still hanging over people’s heads — be that manager.
Chances are, those in your key peer and network relationships are other managers who are facing this challenge as well. Forward this article to them with a note saying, We’re in this together! Let’s ho‘ohana kākou: Anything we can team up on, or clear up together? To update and restructure a goal can be creatively satisfying. To nail it early and collaboratively? Even better.
Life, and work, will twist and turn in unexpected ways.
A lot happens over the course of a year, and there will be times when you’ve fallen short of delivering on a commitment you made, knowing full well that your ‘creative restructuring’ isn’t quite good enough—there’s someone else involved.
What is the best way to make up for it when this happens? Let’s take a few cues from Ho‘ohiki, the can-do attitude in keeping our promises;
—Own up to it, and let the person who had the expectation of you know that it didn’t happen (or won’t be happening when expected) if they haven’t discovered it on their own yet. Let them hear it from you and not someone else. They will appreciate knowing you haven’t forgotten them, and haven’t disregarded or minimized their interests.
—Apologize, and simply acknowledge that the present situation is not the best state of affairs. They don’t want to hear your excuses and justifications— even when they are valid. However if they do ask why, this is a time for the truth, and for humility. What they do want to hear from you next, is that you will still follow through: Make Follow-through your Superpower!
—Take care of it, and soon. Your apology doesn’t negate the fact that something still has to get done. Make a new agreement on when you’ll deliver, and make sure it happens—be smart about that new agreement.
—When you deliver, add more value. You’ve now got to make your delivery exceptional somehow. Expectations have grown. Get your cues from the other person, and ask them if there is anything else you can do, so the value you add will be meaningful to them.
Add your suggestions below: How do you finish well in regard to the goals you have set, and the promises you have made?
Archive Aloha on Managing Well:
- New to Management: A Learn-the-Ropes Checklist
- Managing: Let’s talk about the Basics
- Managing Basics: Study Their Work