Check on How You Are “Really Doing"

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse. - Lily Tomlin

How bad does it need to get before you do something about it ("IT" is the processes and systems in your organization)

In reading a post by Guy Kawasaki on the American Express OPEN Forum site, I found this comment, "Act like a prospective customer and call your company to see how the phone system and receptionist treat you." It made me think about the systems I have implemented. Are they going as I perceive, or do they just appear to be effective?

Hmmm... How I can really check? This thought gave me a paradigm shift. It's time to play the part of a customer or church member and look at the systems in my organization from their point of view. What a great idea!

So, develop feedback systems that are authentic and consistent. Don't check once and think that it's done. Develop a balanced scorecard to constantly evaluate your systems. This is not a reflection on the leader personally. It's not a sign of failure. It's simply a process check. Authenticity in leadership (an important Transformational Leadership trait) means that you eliminate the "elephant in the room" where everybody knows something is wrong, but nobody talks about it.

To be effective as a leader, you must establish systems to evaluate your systems. This is a great activity for teams and you may want to occasionally include consumers or members (for church or non-profit) in some of the discussions. Develop an effective evaluation system and then capture the concepts in an action plan to insure that are not having the same issues in the next evaluation.

Here’s a model that I use often with great success:


  1. What we do well or what is working;
  2. What needs changing;
  3. New things to consider.

These categories will provide you with ample material to work with.

By the way, be sure to develop strategies for changing the things that need changing and monitoring the change.

Photo iStockPhoto © Rade Lukovic

Twitter feed is not available at the moment.