You may have been in Vera or Tam’s situation; a leader who isn’t clear on what he or she expects followers to do, why it’s important, appropriate advice on how to execute, when it needs to be done, or who is expected to do it. Worse still, perhaps you recognize some of yourself in Walt; a leader who gives fuzzy direction and leaves his followers wondering what in the heck he is talking about.
Through the years I’ve made many mistakes with how I lead others; either being overly prescriptive and turning followers into errand runners or being so vague that followers couldn’t pin me down on what was needed. I’ve learned that good leadership means ensuring clarity on why, what, how, who, and when and ensuring you as the leader don’t over- or under-function in how you lead followers. To that end, I have developed a simple rule I call The Straight A’s of Intentional Leadership, as follows:
Articulate the Why
Align on the What
Advise on the How
Hold Accountable the Who
Agree on the When
Following the straight A rule helps ensure leaders and followers understand why something is important to do, what needs to be done, what constraints need to be considered during execution, who needs to do it, and when it needs to be done. Embracing the straight A rule won’t guarantee great leadership skills, but it sure as shootin’ will help the leader be a better leader and scale up into an intentional leader of leaders.
Interested? Read on for a more thorough explanation of each:
The Consequences: Ignoring the 5 A’s when leading followers can mean the following:
The Next Steps:
Next time you have a deliverable needing to be done by followers:
Want to see more about scaling up as a leader? Check out Six-Word Lessons on Scaling Up as a Leader.
Lonnie Pacelli | Building Thriving Leaders™ | See me on Amazon
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