Performance Consultants

Q4 Leadership Tip: When Your Action Plan Comes Unraveled

Sep. 16th, 2019

The Situation

Marina is in charge of strategic planning for her organization, which recently won a sizeable award from a lawsuit. The company president has asked Marina and the CFO, Steve, to make preliminary recommendations for how the company should use the funds.

In their meetings, Steve has been reluctant to commit. He feels whatever they recommend will be unpopular with some important people within the company.

The Plan Falls Apart

Steve and Marina were able to hammer out a recommendation, in part, because Marina used the Five-Step Format for discussion to develop ideas they both supported. Now, it’s just a matter of working through Step 5, developing an action plan for completing their task. Steve still seems hesitant, but ultimately agrees.

Four days later, Marina emails Steve, asking how the writing is going. He responds that “something” came up and he won’t be ready by their deadline. He says he’ll need an additional week — but that means the recommendation won’t be ready before the company president leaves town for a couple of weeks.

Marina doesn’t understand. She and Steve worked out a detailed action plan, and he agreed to a timeline. Keeping in mind that Marina has no authority over Steve, what more could she have done?

You Make the Call!

A. Marina might have been firmer with Steve — he clearly needs a heavier hand, and there’s no need for her reputation to suffer because of his reticence.

B. Marina should just back off. Steve’s not ready to make the final recommendation yet, so why force it? The plan can wait a couple of weeks.

C. Marina could have involved Steve in the action plan, asking him to lay out his ideas for a timeline, and showing him the value of seeing this through to completion.

Here’s Your Q4 Answer!

Leadership Through People Skills Certified Facilitator Lynne Hayes has the Q4 Answer!

Ready for More?

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