CEOs of top-performing companies all have a few things in common. For one, they drive their teams and the organization towards operational excellence by creating a solid business strategy. Then, they align their teams’ goals with that strategy, using an effective goal setting framework like Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). There are a few more steps involved with becoming an executive who leads their organization towards sustained high performance, but these two concepts are the framework upon which each subsequent step is built.
Here, we’ll explore in greater detail, via a step-by-step guide, what it takes to be among the best CEOs:
How Leading Executives Accelerate Performance
- Create a Clear, Concise StrategyYour company strategy should be no more than one page. Once you’ve developed it, share it with the organization, making sure fellow executives and managers understand it fully. The clearer your strategy, the better your management team will be able to share it with direct reports, and thus, the more effectively it will be executed. Check out “The One Page Strategy” (TOPS) plan that shows all the details of the key strategic factors that you want your whole team to know.
- Set Team & Department ObjectivesBased on your company strategy and most important current business goals, set clear, measurable Objectives for each of your teams, departments, and business units. To ensure the utmost level of clarity, use Google’s OKR method.
- Align Objectives Align all teams’ Objectives so that all goals throughout the organization align not only from the top down, but also bottom-up and cross-functionally. Take a look at how our guide on how goal cascading and alignment can be achieved for additional insights.
- Achieve Continuous Performance ManagementOnce goals are in place, managers and executives must approach performance management as an ongoing activity, not a single event. Measure goal progress, use ongoing feedback to coach teams, practice ongoing developmental planning, and recognize and reward teams for their contributions.
- Implement Weekly 1-on-1 Meetings for All Managers & Their TeamsWeekly one-on-one meetings are considered the best business practice of all time, and for good reason. These brief sessions held between managers and each of their direct reports can be used to check in on progress of Objectives, discuss any impediments to goal achievement, and exchange actionable feedback to improve performance.
- Train Managers to Become CoachesGive managers the tools and resources they need to become coaches to their direct reports. Encourage them to monitor goal progress without micromanaging, and step in to provide guidance only when it’s needed. Managers can also keep an ongoing dialogue with teams using tools like pulse surveys, which can help to maintain frequent feedback on progress.
- Become a Data-Driven Executive Lastly, use data from goal progress along with information retrieved from weekly progress updates (1-on-1 meetings and pulse surveys) to make decisions that increase team performance and achieve exceptional results.
What else? What are some tactics you think the leading CEOs use to achieve superior results?
Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!