Three Critical Leadership Tactics

Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I typically say that “I help leaders who are struggling with the tactical, practical aspects of getting important things done.”


I know that leaders also must set the strategy and understand the big picture of their companies.  But, as John McClane found out, it’s hard to stop a group of terrorists when you can’t find your shoes.


Being organized and tactically effective does not mean that a leader is bogged down in details.  An organized leader knows that without good execution, lofty goals will simply remain…well…lofty.


So, other than the strategic stuff essential to being a good leader, they must also:


Be (somewhat) predictable.

Disorganized leaders are very unpredictable.  They will delegate tasks at the last minute, forget what they’ve told you to do, and lose track of the status of projects.

Working for a disorganized leader is stressful and not as fun as the leader may think it is.  Projects get stopped, started, interrupted, and sporadically completed.


Be calm.

The best advice I was given as a new leader was to remain calm.  A mentor told me that when a panicked employee came into my office, I needed to serenely help them see a solution to their problem.

My clients find that effective time and task management are key components to remaining calm.  Being interrupted isn’t as stressful when you have strategies to get back on track quickly.  Organized leaders have fewer surprises, such as missed deadlines and blown budgets.


 Show trust.

I worked with a leader who kept her own project folders for every single project that her staff was working on.  She maintained duplicate information.

During one of our sessions, she realized the message that she was sending:  I don’t trust you to keep track of the information related to your own projects.

She promptly divested herself of the duplicate folders.  She really did trust her staff to do their jobs well, but her actions said otherwise.


Is the problem with competencies or tactics?


Many leaders are promoted into their positions due to exceptional performance as an individual contributor.  They were excellent at Snookelflaken so they now manage all the Snookelflaken-ers.  They likely need to develop their competencies as a leader.


Other leaders have the right competencies but fail on the tactical end.  They set a beautiful vision, get people on board, then wreck their own plans upon implementation.


And, there are leaders whose tactical shortcomings make them appear to lack the competencies to lead.  One example of this is micromanagement (a.k.a. snoopervising).


I find that micromanagers are often just disorganized people trying to appear in control of things.  Helping a leader better manage their tasks and the 1:1 meetings they have with their employees can remove the need to micromanage.  Leaders stop snoopervising because they feel more in control of their world.


Productivity improvement isn’t just for the Snookelflaken-ers.  It isn’t just for assembly lines or call centers, either.  Productivity is the key to execution.


Take me to your leaders.


Tactical, practical execution is a missing piece of many leadership development efforts.  We teach competencies (good), we give feedback (good), but we expect a leader to have somehow gained all the skills they will ever need to implement the strategies we teach them.


I can help.  I can work in concert with leadership coaches and leadership development programs to help people be more effective where the proverbial rubber meets the road.


Contact me now, and let’s talk. 


Crazy Productive eBook Series

Are you ready to prioritize tasks, address time challenges, and master your information?

Buy the Crazy Productive series and you will receive all six books at a discounted price.

Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.

1 Comment

  1. Janet Barclay

    Having worked for many types of bosses and as a supervisor, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Micromanaging people is not inefficient, because you’re both spending time and energy on the same thing. Even worse, if you know someone is going to be checking and even redoing your work, you have no motivation to do your very best.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like what you read?

Get new posts directly in your inbox!

You might also like these posts…

Enjoying these posts? Make sure you dont miss any!

If you enjoy my blog posts and want to make sure you never miss one - sign up for my newsletter! When you do, you'll also get instant access to my FREE webinar on interruptions in the workplace.

Interruptions can kill productivity. With one “Got a minute?” from a coworker or one stray thought swirling in your brain, the flow of your work can be completely disrupted.

The trouble is that few people have concrete strategies to get back on task quickly after an interruption. Some people completely lose focus…for hours! If you have tried reducing interruptions, but they still impact your ability to be effective at work, this free webinar is for you.