I think we can all agree, it has been a heck of a year! Pandemic, elections, new cultural movements – you get the point. So, what is a leader to do in this crazy time to be as effective as possible?
As the new CEO at PSA, I have had a learning curve getting to know my new organization and the people who make it successful. Here are some of the tools I have been sharing with our leaders in my first 100 days to ensure we are doing the right thing.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
I believe a leader needs to constantly be looking at their business and having honest dialog about how things are going. No business is perfect, and it is hard to get all the cylinders firing in proper order. When that happens, it is somewhat magical, but we are often always striving for that nirvana.
Whether you are having your own self-evaluation or sitting down with your team, it is worthwhile to categorize how your business functions are doing in this basic scale. Hopefully, there is much more in the “good” category than the others. I am guessing if you are a driven leader, you have the skills to see what can be improved. Some might even call you a perfectionist!
Without making it a personal attack on your team, managers need to have this open discussion about what is and is not working and focus on what the team can do to improve. If there are things in the “ugly” category, you will have to determine if they are significant enough to shift the team’s focus 100% in order to fix it – or, as I often ask, is this something we should stop doing altogether?
Just as Important: Focus on What to Stop Doing
I have worked for big companies, small companies, and those in between. One of the constant issues I have seen – and even been an offender of – is the ever-growing project list. If your management team feels so overwhelmed they cannot keep up, your employees might think it is impossible to make the boss happy.
My suggestion is to have a discussion with your team. Even if you push them to take on a new project, I suggest you also take things off their plates and decide what to stop doing. Good leaders know how and when to push, but also how to balance the resources they have available.
It is okay to set high goals, but do not add new projects and initiatives without making some bandwidth available first. This keeps the employees focused on the job at hand and shows them that you understand the work involved and value their time.
Do Not be Afraid to Ask for Advice
PSA has a network of more than 200 companies, which is an amazing intelligence base with experiences and wisdom beyond what any single company can know. At PSA, we encourage our members to share and help each other and facilitate opportunities for our members to collaborate and share with like-minded professionals. Our members are on committees that focus on topics such as leadership, emerging technologies, managed services and more.
Likewise, PSA employees are encouraged to participate in the groups and attend meetings on topics such as sales and marketing, operations, and procurement.
In my time as CEO at PSA so far, it has been incredible to see the dialog. I believe these committees are one of the greatest values we can offer our integrators.
Some leaders have great mentors, some have professional coaches, some belong to organizations. Whichever avenue you choose, my suggestion to all current and future leaders, get yourself a “network” – because you don’t have to do it alone!
Matt Barnette is CEO of PSA Security Network and has more than 30 years of experience in management and executive roles in the security industry. Request more info about PSA at www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.