Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
ARE YOU STUCK IN ‘SKIMMING’ MODE?
1. Do you go beyond the executive summary on an important topic?
2. When you insist on ‘exception reporting’, do you note it but don’t dig for the cause for the exception?
3. Do you worry more about time than content during meetings?
4.. Are you so quickly touching bases that you miss important emerging information you might need?
5. Do you get only fleeting glances of possibly serious relationship issues in your team?
6. Would your assessment of the functioning of your business be the same as randomly selected people in your organization?
7. Do you, yourself, miss the grit of an average business day?
8. Do you know the major challenge of each of your functional leaders?
9. Do you spend more time traveling and dining with leaders than you do understanding
their business challenges and generating options to meet the challenges?
I remember the blur of meetings and crowded calendars and the ever present issue of
limited time and huge scope of being a top executive. That dynamic can create a sense of
waste, hyper-active work and low impact. Not what you want as a top executive.
I have seen a burned out CEO get re-energized by going to a store and working with associates and seeing actual customers. (I worked in food retailing and banking)
It brings the conceptual, strategic work down to earth. It reminds leaders that they are not playing chess at the top. I also suggest digging deep yourself, not through Human Resources or your direct report, when you sense something is off. This is the moment to dig deep to get your own tangible knowledge. Of course, you tell the functional leader that you are going to
touch thing up close or you do it with your EC colleague. What you learn will give you insight into the company as a whole, allow you to make better decisions and to course correct.
The people in your company will respect, even admire your care and diligence. It’s hard to stop the scanning/skimming approach and you can’t afford to dig deep often. But it is essential to know when to do it and the impact on you and your company will be big.