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Leading from the Core

What’s Your Number?

Posted on September 21st, 2017 by Randall Taussig

We pulled one of our classic blogs from 2012 and updated it with new links and some minor tweaks. Still as pertinent today as it was 5 years ago. We hope you enjoy it!”

I’m not referring to your “sleep #” though occasionally I wonder what mine is (do you know yours?).

No, this is about the number (or numbers) that you are accountable for in your organization. The numbers that are the leading indicators of your success and that your colleagues hold you (and only you) accountable.

When you boil down performance to numbers that you can measure, you are able to run your business objectively without emotion that may distort your ability to make the right decisions.

There are three distinct advantages to having and knowing your own unique set of numbers:

1)Clarity- Clarity takes the fuzziness (and subjectivity) out of what you need to accomplish and helps define the actions necessary to reach them.

2) Accountability- Accountability makes it clear who is accountable for that number. The key is that only ONE person is accountable for each number. If more than one person is accountable, then no one is accountable.

3) Predictability-Predict the future and stay on track by reporting your numbers weekly. If you see far in advance that your off track, then you can take action to get back on course with plenty of time to spare.

Lets take a simple example. Suppose your head of operations for a software development company. Your part of a leadership team where everyone has their set of “numbers.” One of your numbers falls under the classification of “customer satisfaction” and your number is “98% on-time delivery.” On average, the company ships 100 software packages per week. Imagine over the past 8 weeks your average on-time delivery has gradually slipped to 92%.

Since you’re reporting your number in weekly leadership meetings, you see how early detection of the trend will help flush out problems early and give you and your team enough time to identify the problem and find ways to get back on track.

Remember, if you can identify it – you can solve it. Any issue can be solved after you clearly identify it.

You own your number, and you may not be the only one responsible for reaching that number. However, you are responsible for taking initiative to do whatever is necessary to get back on track.

Now, that’s GREAT leadership!

*EOS offers a great tool for tracking your numbers called the Scorecard. Visit our EOS page to learn more.