Military leaders learn to “put troops to task” when they are making their battle plans. In simple terms, you may want something to happen, but unless you assign specific tasks and responsibilities to people, along with resources and timelines, things are likely not to get done. So, unless you believe your followers are capable of mind-reading, or you believe in miracles, make sure they know what you expect of them.

  • Specify your overall aim so people know what you want to achieve.
  • Identify key roles and functions.
  • Assign these to specific individuals with clear responsibility to achieve concrete, measurable outcomes.
  • Assign ressources and ask those you’ve tasked to ensure these are sufficient. Tell them to analyze their options and request additional ressources if required.
  • Confirm understanding of your outline plan and key responsibilities.
  • Have them brief their plans back to you so you know they are doing what you want them to.
  • Have them coordinate details amongst themselves and inform you of any major impacts on the overall intent and plan so you can modify if needed.
  • Detail constraints (thou shalt) and restraints (thou shalt not) so they know their “limits of exploitation.”
  • Always end your meetings or planning sessions with a record of decisions, assigned tasks and responsibilities, and next actions/events/milestones.
  • Talk with your immediate subordinates’ followers so you know if they have understood the tasks of the team and can execute them.

I’m never too busy to discuss your needs or those of anyone else you feel may benefit from meeting or talking to me. So feel free to contact me at any time!

Richard Martin is The Force Multiplier. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to radically improve performance, grow, and thrive in the face of rapid change, harsh competition, and increasing uncertainty.

© 2015 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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