Create a crystal clear “boss-subordinate compact”

A very interesting and thought-provoking article was recently published in the Harvard Business Review.  The article entitled, What Your Leader Expects of You, was originally published in the April 2007 issue of the Harvard Business Review.

The article suggests creating a “boss-subordinate compact” that defines a mutual set of crystal clear expectations.  Knowing that “boss-subordinate” or superior-subordinate relationships are constantly a major issue to be dealt with in all kinds of organizations throughout the world, this is an excellent suggestion.  And, the clearer and more precise, the better!

The author, Larry Bossidy, was chairman and CEO of AlliedSignal and chairman of Honeywell.  He also served as the COO of General Electric Credit Corporation (now GE Capital) and as the vice chairman of General Electric.

Bossidy provides a detailed explanation of each of his expectations. “What I Expect from My Direct Reports:”

  • Get involved
  • Generate ideas
  • Be willing to collaborate
  • Be willing to lead initiatives
  • Develop leaders as you develop
  • Stay current
  • Anticipate
  • Drive your own growth
  • Be a player for all seasons

The following is Bossidy’s answer to “What My Direct Reports Can Expect from Me:”

  • Provide clarity of direction
  • Set goals and objectives
  • Give frequent, specific, and immediate feedback
  • Be decisive and timely
  • Be accessible
  • Demonstrate honesty and candor
  • Offer and equitable compensation plan

This article provides great advice and perspective for anyone wanting to achieve greater personal and professional success.  The full article is in the Harvard Business Review OnPoint Fall 2009 issue.  You would do well to read the entire article and consider acting on it.  As a bonus, there are several other excellent articles in this HBR issue.

Crystal clear mutually agreed upon expectations… A formula for greater effectiveness, value and success!

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I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

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