How To Execute Employees Instead Of Strategy

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The director sat down in the manager’s office. They were discussing the latest product request that Gene had proposed, and that his forecasts were way off.

“Where exactly is he getting his numbers from?” the director asked. “I’m not sure,” said his manager, “he’s given some off forecasts before, but this is wacky. We can’t make a decision with these figures.”

After the discussion the director left the office with doubts about Gene’s ability to do the job. His manager emailed some corrected forecast forms and mentioned that they would talk about this in the morning. There was never a call beforehand to get input and the subsequent call was to fix it as his manager had done.

When the facts were traced back, it was found that Gene’s forecast numbers were from a database he wasn’t supposed to use because it wasn’t always reliable. There were two other sources to pull the data from, but he was never fully shown one, and never given full access to the other.

In addition, he was not fully trained on the systems involved in this process. His onboarding process had lots of holes, the corporate trainer was new in their role and didn’t know the particulars of Gene’s role, and his manager never had continual follow through of the entire training. Gene’s learning process was a “dump-and-run” at best.

This left the two leaders, the director and the manager, with two very concerned opinions about their staff member. This timely project was going to take an additional week to correct, which shortened their lead time for ordering these products considerably.

All because Gene wasn’t properly given the tools or time needed do execute his job.

Leaders have two choices:

  • Execute solid strategy, or
  • Execute otherwise solid staff.

If a leader chooses to execute solid strategy properly, then they will consider all the aspects to the short- and long-term ramifications of vision, market planning, and other factors … including a fully trained and informed staff.

Imagine what would have happened in the above story if the director and leader ensured Gene could perform at a high level:

  • Forecast for purchases would be on target
  • Lead times for product would be met, leaving no shortages of inventory
  • Customers would have excellent service in being able to order what they need
  • Gene’s manager and director would have a favorable impression of his job performance

Instead, they failed to check in on the process of executing their training strategy, leaving Gene in the dark. They let other concerns dwarf the importance of their people, which will lead to a fatal flip side of the coin if left unchecked:

Executing staff.

When leaders choose not to ensure, and fully immerse themselves, into their people’s training and development. it creates the following, such as in Gene’s case:

  • Wonder if a poor hiring decision was made
  • Distrust in the employee’s abilities, as well as
  • Distrust in the leaders ability to give all the tools need for the job
  • Pent up frustrations which lead to closed conversations that don’t include the staff person
  • And finally, sadly, termination, because the person is not able to fulfill their work expectations

How many people would have otherwise given a solid performance for their company if their leaders had set up a sound training and development program that ensured all the tools were not only given, but everyone knew how to effectively use them?

Determine today to execute a great training strategy, before you execute a great person’s career.



About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on October.7.2014, in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Getting people started well in a new role and/or their new organisation, pays dividends in terms of their long-term tenure and performance. Effective onboarding has proven a wise insurance policy engaged to follow up any investment in recruiting.


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