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Wearing underwear – and your Leadership
April 02, 2019

Are you positive you are wearing underwear?

What’s the relationship between wearing underwear and your leadership?

A lot!

If you are like most people – right now you are wearing underwear, and you are positive you are wearing it.

If you are like most managers – right now you have direct reports, and you are positive you are giving them role clarity and direction.

But – are you?

I challenge you to do the following

You say you are positive you are wearing underwear – and in case you wanted to double check – all you need to do is to look at yourself in the mirror.

Well …

You say you are positive you are giving your direct reports role clarity and direction.

But – how can you double check that you are in fact giving them role clarity and direction?

My challenge to you is the following …

Ask them TEN questions – and see for yourself.

Note 1: It is pointless and a waste of time IF you answer these question for your direct reports. For this exercise to be useful for you – THEY must answer these questions themselves, from THEIR own perspective.

Note 2: It is pointless and a waste of time IF they answer according to what they believe you want to hear. For this exercise to be useful for you – they must be 100 percent HONEST with you.

Note 3: Ask them these questions in a team meeting, with you and all your direct reports – and ask them to answer each question individually, in front of everybody. Why? Because you want to create an open communication environment within the team you lead.

Note 4: Whether they give you a “YES” or a “NO” for an answer to each one of these ten questions here below, always ask them “WHY.” You want to understand their perspectives, their logic, and their needs – in order to learn how better to support them to do their jobs.

Got it?

Al right!

Let’s find out …

Ten simple questions for role clarity and direction:

FIRST: Do all of your direct reports have an updated clear-cut job description – with explicit job functions?

SECOND: Do their competencies (hard competencies & soft competencies) perfectly match their job functions?

THIRD: Do they have goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound?

FOURTH: Do they precisely know the scope of their responsibility, and their level of authority?

FIFTH: Do they have all the necessary tools to do their jobs?

SIXTH: Do they have all the necessary resources to do their jobs?

SEVENTH: Do they exactly know what’s expected from them today, next month, and next quarter?

EIGHTH: Do they know – without a shadow of a doubt – what they need to do in order to accomplish it?

NINTH: Do they know how their work impacts all the people they work with, the end user, and the bottom line?

TENTH: Do they clearly know your company’s vision – and how their individual work contributes to build such vision?

Use these questions with all your direct reports to assess how much role clarity and direction you are in fact giving to them.

And in case you find out that you are not – don’t be surprised!

According to Gallup – about two thirds of middle level managers in Fortune 500 companies aren’t crystal clear about what’s expected from them.

Use these ten questions as a tool – in a team meeting – to improve your leadership.


Role clarity and direction are fundamental in employee engagement and execution.

Use these ten questions often – just as you use your underwear.

Questions? Feedback?
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How a tiny stick may help your discussions

See you next month!
Joseluis Romero - Publisher
April 2, 2019. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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