What does delivery have to do with integrity, our focus for this month? Think back to the last time you were so worn out you had to order take-out to be delivered to your home. The work day had lasted longer than you expected, nothing was prepared for dinner, no left-overs and no time. Hungry, and needing some food you make the call, wait for the food, open up the box after the delivery person leaves – and – it is the wrong order! Poof, there goes all your trust in that service.
The same applies to us as leaders. The people on your team count on you and pay attention to what you promise. In fact, delivering is as much as a character issue as it is a competence issue. In our system we include “deliver what you promise” in our definition of leadership integrity. I clearly remember a manager of mine who excelled in this respect. It wasn’t the large events that stick in my mind but the smaller deliveries she made. When she scheduled a meeting, she was prepared for it. Our 1-1’s did not get “bumped.” When she said, “I will get back to you,” she did! We didn’t always agree on the best solution or on the next steps in a project but I trusted her and I had faith in her integrity. I knew she would deliver. As a leader, I need to stay focused on what I promise to deliver, even if priorities shift or new projects get added to my plate. The people I lead are counting on my delivery so they can do their work.
How would people rate your delivery service?
Hi, Todd –
I found in my experiences as professional, supervisor, and manager during my time with the State of Minnesota another important dimension of delivery. As supervisor and manager – telling subordinates when I could not “deliver as promised” and why. And as a professional in the ranks, telling clients / coworkers when I could not deliver. As you suggest, delivery matters.
Sometimes it’s hard to know that delivery will not occur. Underestimates of the length of time a project will take – or overestimates of the benefit of project outcomes. However, even if the delivery is not the best news and sometimes hard to do, it should occur.
Great point. Being up front and transparent with people can go miles. It is a balancing act and one that requires constant attention and self-awareness.