Today as I was going through a file related to our organizational strategy, I ran across a document from more than seven years ago related to my expectations for senior staff. I think this document is as relevant today as it was when it was written because it focuses more on the “how” than the “what.” Unfortunately, in our fast-paced world, the “what” changes not only from day to day, but often from hour to hour. For that very reason, the clearer you can be on your “how”, the more your staff will have a roadmap to guide their actions and allow them to respond to situations quickly and with confidence. I share these expectations not because I think they will be a fit for every individual or organization — they won’t be — but to challenge you to consider what you would include in a “roadmap for how” for your organization. In my experience, you can get to your destination much faster when you have a map.
DDR Expectations of Senior Leadership Staff
The quick and dirty . . .
- Treat others as you would like to be treated
- Always take the high road
- No surprises
- We have to be the grown-ups
Probably more what you had in mind . . .
- I expect they are fully committed to the mission and vision of the organization and that they exemplify agency values in their interactions with individuals, both internal and external to the organization.
- I expect they have the baseline knowledge necessary to fully carry out their job, or have developed a plan for acquiring baseline knowledge.
- I expect the driving factor in decision-making is what is in the best interest of the agency as a whole, not personal or departmental priorities.
- I expect the work within their area is consistent with, and supports the fulfillment of, Chaddock’s strategic and operational plans.
- I expect when they come to me with a challenge, they will also come with potential solutions for consideration. My job is to offer guidance and feedback, not “solve their problems”.
- I expect them to balance short-term urgency with long-term importance.
- I expect them to be accountable to their team, including me, in carrying out their job responsibilities, and recognize that the decisions of one team member impacts the rest of the team.
- I expect communication among the team, and with me, to be proactive rather than reactive, identifying upcoming decisions/activities before they occur rather than reporting afterwards.
- I expect them to make the hard decisions in a thoughtful, caring and timely manner. I also expect them to understand that I’ll do the same, and although they may not always agree with my decisions I expect them to support them.
- I expect them to look out for their team members, and raise concerns or observations in a supportive manner when appropriate. I also expect that they are receptive to the feedback from their team.
- I expect them to model transparency in their actions, and foster two-way communications throughout the organization. Hierarchy is not a hideout.