You are likely in the midst of the spring busy season. You surely are prepared for this busy period. You are likely looking forward to focusing on being out in the field rather than leading and managing.
I understand and support your desire to be a doer – to do what you love! You must, however, maintain leadership as your top priority, even in busy times! That defines our topic for the month: what are your leadership responsibilities in busy times? We focus on three.
When you stop doing, you lose one person; when you stop organizing, you lose the work or reduce the efficiency of everyone.
Let me share a personal example. A couple years ago I volunteer to help setup on the morning of the big community event in the little city of Lauderdale where we live. I arrived a little early and helped the organizer with a couple tasks. He then left to get the some needed supplies.
Momentarily, the other volunteers arrived, and we stood around chatting. Soon everyone was complaining and very frustrated. We volunteered to help, but we each had better things to do than stand around waiting for directions. We did finally complete the setup, but I don't think anyone left with a sense of accomplishment.
Your employees have waited all winter to get out in the field or out on the golf course. They are excited! They are likely willing to work extra hours if needed. Like my volunteers they also have other things they could be doing – family, children's sports, fishing, golf, etc.
To maintain their initial level of excitement, they will require a sense of continuing accomplishment, not frustration from unclear plans, expectations or directions.
Before you join in the work, make certain that you are thinking several steps ahead, making plans for those next steps, and communicating those plans to everyone. Just as you have a system for your spring work, you need a system for communicating with the workforce.
The system should include the combination of short operational meetings and verbal/text communications that best fit your operation. If everyone starts at the same time in a central location, a short morning meeting will save time in the end.
When a short daily operational meeting is not feasible, I recommend a weekly meeting, perhaps Monday morning, followed by daily updates at a set time – late in the day or first thing in the morning. A standard time enables others to know what to expect.
In all cases, there will be many updates as you call audibles to the plans you have laid out. These also require clear and frequent communication.