Academic journal article Manager

Why Big Conversations Matter

Academic journal article Manager

Why Big Conversations Matter

Article excerpt

Getting people to deliver is the essential task of leadership. It doesn't matter whether the focus is outstanding performance, high quality service or hard project results, it is through developing effective leadership that organisations have begun to see that they can deliver outstanding results.

However, in many cases, leaders either manage this part of their role poorly or quite simply don't know how to make such delivery occur. And the mistake that leaders typically make is this. When it comes to delivery, they define the targets, set the expectation, put all the resources in place and tell people what to do. Some will even remember to check with their colleagues how things are going along the way. But they don't have a big enough conversation to kick the process off in the first place.

What I mean by this is that when a leader makes a 'big' request, something that is important or a strategic priority, then communication or demand is simply not enough to make the 'big' result occur. The individual or team involved has to be fully engaged in the task and this requires the task to have both stretch and urgency about it and when necessary, to be achieved with thinking and behaviour that lies beyond the current norms. Given this context the leader has to ensure that the individual concerned owns what they are being asked to do. It has to matter to them.

The reality is that most leaders shy away from having such big conversations. …

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