Getting Better Results As A Leader- Start Being Specific

Reviewing the content on a group that I belong to on one of the major social media sites recently, I came across an interesting job advert. In a nutshell the recruiter was looking for someone who stood out from the crowd, was a self-starter and a good communicator.

Now it might have raised a bit of a chuckle and ideas in my mind as to what it meant in practice and it got me thinking about the whole way we communicate.

As a leader one of the keys to success is getting results through others. However before you can get results through others you need to specify what is required.

Perhaps you are thinking that it can’t be that difficult to do. You might well be right but how often do you see:

  • Job descriptions that are so vague they are almost meaningless
  • Employee objectives merely being a list of actions rather than measurable results
  • Two people leaving a meeting with a completely different understanding of the next steps
  • People reporting back and assuming that someone else was dealing with this or that aspect of a project.

We all know that vaguely specified requirements can lead to:

  • Things not being achieved
  • Resources being wasted
  • Additional costs being incurred when adjustments need to be made to what already has been done.

So as a leader, if you want to get even better results and achieve more success, start:

  • Specifying what is to be achieved in terms of results or outcomes
  • Making it crystal clear who is responsible for what
  • Setting clear and unambiguous deadlines.

The Bottom Line: Sometimes it is the simple changes that yield the biggest benefits. To be more successful, start by being specific when giving direction and setting expectations.

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professional people become great leaders and managers. Sign up for his free audio e-course Leadership Success at

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

Leave a Comment:

Alex Dail says 29 February 2012

I would add check for understanding. This way any misconception can be straightened out; and also all our brains drift now and then so the people who might had a mini-brain vacation can fit in the pieces they missed. Thanks for bring up the important issue of clarity.

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