On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Andy Stern
Labor leader

Andy Stern

Andy Stern is president of the two-million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America.

Mission and metrics

In any organization changes and transitions are difficult, and last year required too many organizations to face up to economic realities and make difficult choices.

So the first question before setting sail for 2010 on a more positive note is truthfully answering the question: "Have we hit bottom or is there more to come?" Hopefully, most leaders made the difficult choices to right size and prepare to at least maintain their organizations' status quo in terms of staff and funding for 2010. If so, then people should be ready for a 2010 agenda that returns to mission, metrics, and personal motivation .

Mission, for non-profits and any for-profit organizations where discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity is the core reason people choose to go to work, cannot be stressed enough. When work is not simply about perspiration, but inspiration and aspirations people can generate lots of enthusiasm and purpose for their personal and organizational goals.

Metrics is today's jargon for, knowing what you are expected to do and being clear on how the results will be tracked and measured. Plan to measure back from victory, not just from the present forward, and keep constant organizational focus on measuring how you are doing. Any job can have realistic and important metrics to guide a person's work life.

Personal motivation is understanding what each person wants from work -- training, financial reward, promotions, recognition, evaluation and/or experience -- and then trying to provide it. Every person is motivated by different factors, and, although hard, setting personal goals for the year with people whom you lead is critical, in addition to mission and metrics.

2010 is not going to be an easy year, and it is too early to predict the course our economy and organizations will take. But mission, metrics, and personal motivation can set a framework to stay on track and ride out whatever is thrown your way.

By Andy Stern

 |  January 4, 2010; 2:14 PM ET
Category:  Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Lean thinking | Next: The magic of fellowship

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company