Q4 is a special time of year for most organisations. There can be a real buzz in the air as you edge closer to seeing if you have hit your targets and got the results you were aiming for. In some cases you may already know you’ve succeeded (which is just amazing at this stage), but in others it may currently be a close-call, or you may need a serious final push.
As leader, you are at the centre of the action. You are the critical link between all the metrics that will help you achieve those sales forecasts and much prized profits. From protecting margins to talent management, monitoring outputs and productivity, ensuring you have the right resources in place and driving a positive working culture, your influence is essential.
Ultimately, your chief objective for the company is to drive it forward to hit its goals. So what can you do to help lead your company on to achieve its targets during these final few months?
Know your numbers
Do you have accurate figures and know exactly what is going on across the organisation? You need to start with a clear understanding of the current picture so you can guide or take action where it is most needed. Now is not the time to estimate or make assumptions.
Take a step back
The ability to look inwardly and honestly to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation is going to be crucial when it comes to maximising financial success. Analyse your current work processes and goals and consider; ‘are there any gaps?’, ‘do teams have all the tools they need?’ and ‘do I need to allocate more resources?’ If you need to act, be brave and do it!
Make your own goals count
Make sure you are on top of your own goals. You may have taken the lead on some of the larger, more important client accounts. Make sure you are effectively delegating the small stuff to allow yourself the time to focus on those accounts to the level you need to.
Be hands-on but avoid smothering
You have great power when it comes to motivating and influencing the performance of your managers and team members. While it is great to be hands-on and ‘all in this together’ just make sure that you’re also giving people ownership and the room they need to succeed. Again, ensure you have an accurate idea of the current picture, then closely monitor all activity, stepping in to guide and motivate wherever it is needed.
Cement your relationships
Your people management and talent management skills are essential now, and are a key element in the ongoing success of the company. Cementing strong relationships with your teams will help you in many ways. For example, if you can encourage an open dialogue where team members feel comfortable coming to you if and when problems arise, then you will be informed earlier and be better able to deal with issues quickly.
Remind teams of the bigger picture
Helping employees to understand how their own efforts fit within the wider goals of the company can be a very powerful motivator – especially this close to year end. Creating this connection will help your teams to look at their personal goals in a different way and attach greater meaning to them.
Ultimately, if you know your figures, you can spot any areas of weakness or risk, you remain fully on top of your team’s performance and act quickly when you need to, then you’ll be taking on Q4 from a very strong position
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