How Do You Build Performance?

I’ll tell you how. How to create the conditions for motivation, engagement, retention, and performance. 

If you are a manager giving an assignment, be crystal clear about the what–then let your people deliver on how it will be done. 


How_to_bowl_ Because you hired them for the how. Think about it. You looked at resumes and carefully selected people who had something that seemed unique or different from the others. 

When you tell people how to do their jobs you take away their identity. We all want to contribute. And that contribution is in the form of the unique way–how–we do our jobs.

Action: Define and get commitment on what you want done, then let people use their unique talents to decide how to do it. 

Does this mean you walk away and totally ignore how things are getting done? No. Your payoff comes when you orchestrate quality, deadlines, and feedback. 

There are certain jobs, especially those related to safety, that don’t offer much variation on the “how.”: airline pilot, nuclear power plant operator, brain surgeon. For most of us, though, trial-and-error works well to perfect our methodologies and offer a sense of accomplishment. 

This is why more and more employees are looking for managers who coach. If you are unsure of how to do that, go ahead and download the free guide available in the right-hand column. More than a thousand readers have found it helpful and I hope you do, too.


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Steve has designed and delivered leadership and communication programs for some of the world's largest organizations, and has more than 30 years in training, development, and high-level executive coaching. His Roesler Group has created and delivered leadership and talent development internationally for corporations such as Pfizer, Minerals Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, NordCarb Oy Ab, and Specialty Minerals--Europe. Steve is currently involved in the latest update of his Presenting With Impact program, a cross-cultural presentations workshop that has been delivered on five continents to more than 1,000 participants representing nearly 60 nationalities.


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