Leadership Tip of the Week: What Gets Measured is What Gets Done

What gets measured is what gets done.

Are you struggling to get your team to focus on a specific area? Try measuring it in a chart, graph or report. For added flare, try adding some color like green, yellow and red. No one likes to see red on a report or briefing slide.

In the Fisher Leadership Initiative, we call it a scoreboard. Using a scoreboard shows your team that something is important and has your attention. Once your team knows you are keeping score, they will focus their effort and behavior on what needs to get done to be successful. It is important to make sure you are keeping score on the right things, or you will have unintended consequences.

I learned the power of a “green, amber, red” (GAR) chart as a young staff officer in the Army. Green indicated that something was good or okay, amber served as way to show something was at risk or almost good and red showed what areas were bad and needed immediate attention. I discovered how to use a GAR chart to grab leaders’ attention. There is nothing more embarrassing than seeing your organization as red — especially when everyone else was green. It’s a surefire, albeit passive-aggressive way to get things done.

If your team lacks focus, implement performance measurements to get them going in the right direction.

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