How can you maximize your leadership effectiveness? Verne Harnish published an article in Fortune magazine that offer 5 performance metrics to consider.
- Your yes/no ratio: moving toward a more “no” centric ratio once you become established in business
- Number of meals with influencers: setting a goal to continually grow and nurture your network
- Hours in the “flow”: spending time focusing on how you can move your own career or business forward
- Total brains applied: expanding the number of people who offer ideas within the company as well as outside the company
- Time spent thinking: allowing time to read, ponder, and journal
Of these measurements, I wanted to focus on the first two. Of the first metrix, your yes/no ratio, Verne Harnish says:
When you’re first starting a business venture, it pays to say yes to everything: customers (even demanding ones) ready to do business with you, employees willing to work for you, and potential partners and investors who want to team up. But once you get clear on your strategy, you should turn down more opportunities than you embrace. Aim for a 20-to-1 ratio of noes to yeses, and you’ll achieve the laser focus you need to beat the competition.
Can you imagine saying no 20 times to every time you say yes? This is one of the major pitfalls I have observed that women fall into. As they try to maximize their leadership effectiveness they are held back by the desire to please or help and therefore say “yes” to far more than is practical for their career.
I created my workbook Before You Say Yes: Getting to Your Influence and Impact Center to help you think through each request carefully before responding. Give yourself permission to take 24 hours or more before answering. The questions in this workbook have been carefully created to assess each request separately while considering your other commitments and choices.
Give yourself permission to select the projects that use your talents in combination with your INFLUENCE and IMPACT center.
Before you say say – make sure the project is in line with your goals, influence and ability to have the most impact on your career and your leadership effectiveness.
The second metrix – number of meals with influencers – may not immediately feel like it relates to maximizing your leadership effectiveness, but it all comes down to building your network. Verne Harnish says:
Your most important job as a leader is nurturing relationships with the people who have the most power to make or break your business. Set a weekly goal for the number of breakfasts, coffees, lunches, and dinners you’ll have with the top 250 influencers in your field, and you’ll greatly improve your ability to get big things done. Need a good reason to reach out to them? Set up search-engine alerts with their names to stay current on what they’re working on.
The main point that stands out is:
- Create a list of top 250 influencers
Have you created a list of the top influencers in your industry? Who are they? The list should also include people in other industries that have elevated their career to a place you wish to go. Centers of influence; those that know people you want or should know are also important to have on the list. These don’t have to be people you already know but should in fact include people you desire to know.
If you are a women in tech and admire Sheryl Sandberg or HP CEO’s Meg Whitman, these are names to add to the list. And although it may not be practical to invite them for coffee, by following their articles and news updates, you’ll gain some insight into their leadership effectiveness.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for establishing and nurturing relationships. In fact, just yesterday I wanted to connect two women who have been part of the process with my latest book, Accelerate Your Impact and I felt they should meet. So I connected them together, one so they could meet but also so they could have the opportunity to review each other’s career path via their LinkedIn profile.
Thanks so the power of the Internet, we can actually connect and meet virtually with most of the people on our list. Coffee at the corner deli can now be defined as coffee via Facetime or Google Hangouts. Don’t let distance deter you from reaching out.
Also, don’t let notoriety keep you from reaching out and sending a personalized invitation to connect to those influencers on your list that are already maximizing leadership effectiveness. I guarantee that you will be amazed by the people that will agree to connect and will welcome your desire to network.
Maximizing your leadership effectiveness is a process. It starts with being willing to step outside your current comfort zone – saying “no” when you would have automatically said “yes” is just part of the process.
Check out JJ’s new book Accelerate Your Impact by downloading three free chapters.