Name Leads

In principle, whenever a group identifies something that needs to be done, it helps to name a “lead;” that is, the person responsible for taking the next step. If a new committee is formed, who is responsible for convening the first meeting? If more information about something is needed, who will actually gather it and report back to the group? Things for which no one is directly responsible tend to get dropped. Naming a “go to” person (lead) for each thing lets everyone know who to call if they have a question about it. Being named lead on something gives me a sense of responsibility and compels me to do a good job.
Practical Tip: Before adjourning a meeting, make sure that a name is attached to every action item. Encourage people to take leads. If you believe something is important, consider taking the lead yourself. Do not assign the lead to someone who is not present without their permission. If an item arises for which no one is willing to take the lead, let it drop; this is a clear sign that there is not enough energy among the group to actually implement even though it “seems like a good idea.” Groups are good at generating ideas, but individual leadership gets things done.

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