When we think of success, it’s tempting to focus on the big events, the lucky breaks, the single incidents that change a career.
But it isn’t the one-time events that sew up success; it’s the day-in, day-out habits of effective supervision that allow a person to capitalize on the breaks.
Successful supervisors have made habits of seven such activities:
—Goal-setting. They view goal-setting as a primary tool and collaborate with employees to set goals. Once a goal is achieved, they are swift to establish a new one.
—Planning. They write down all plans with all responsibilities as clearly identified as possible. Working with their people, they list the things that must be done to turn each goal into reality.
—Rewarding exceptional performance. They look for at least one opportunity per day to let people know that they are exceeding standards.
—Asking for good ideas. They ask for and use their people’s ideas, and give them the credit they’re due. In turn, these employees feel intelligent, competent and valued.
—Supporting employees in difficult times. They care about their employees’ well-being and seek to assist them, whether the problem is work-related or personal.
—Improving systems. They constantly seek out and fix bottlenecks and inefficiencies. They’re quick to investigate, evaluate and implement new technology or processes.
—Seeking self-improvement. They enjoy their current high level of performance, but they never get complacent. They consult regularly with colleagues about ways to improve and seek fresh inspiration from publications, seminars and industry conventions.