To achieve Step 4, individuals will show that they can manage the completion of tasks within time constraints, and make sure team members have the resources they need to complete the tasks.
In the previous step, the focus was on how to divide up tasks between others fairly. This step builds on this by thinking about other things that need to be managed to complete a job.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
A critical part of managing is to be aware of time. Lots of tasks will have deadlines attached to them – a time that a task has to be completed by. If a deadline is missed, it might mean that:
It is critical from the beginning to be clear about how much time you have, and then telling the team this very clearly. You should also explain why this deadline has been set, so that they take it seriously.
You can then work out how long the different tasks will take, and by allocating them between team members how long everything will take. You should always allow extra time, because things often take longer than we expect.
Once you have shared the tasks out among your team, you need to think about how you will know if you’re on track. Some jobs might all be done in an hour or a day – others will run over weeks or months. In either case, you cannot afford to wait until the deadline to work out if you are on time or not.
Instead, you should think about asking your team to think about when they will finish each of their different tasks. This way, you can check at that time whether they are finished, which helps you to understand that everything is going correctly. It is also helpful for them because it is motivating to see progress made, and will be calming for them to know if they are on track to finish on time.
Resources are those things that people need to complete the tasks that you have given them. They might include things like:
It is your job as the leader to make sure that people have what they need to complete their tasks, or can acquire those resources.
At times, it might be that team members need to share resources to complete their tasks. If this is the case, then you need to think carefully to ensure that those tasks are not planned to happen at the same time.
Before the tasks begin, you can support your team by:
Once tasks are underway, there are a few key things that you should do as a leader to ensure that the tasks are a success:
In education, we often have individual tasks to complete by a specific deadline,for example, home learning. Failure to achieve the deadline reflects on us personally but does not necessarily let down other people. Group projects, for example an assembly, organising a charity event, or a school trip, include tasks which will impact negatively on others if they are not completed on time. In education, the required resources will usually be provided but it may be necessary to share them appropriately between members of the group. Confidence in this step of Leadership will ensure you are able to manage the time as well as the use and sharing of resources effectively.
In the workplace, most jobs and roles are closely linked to the jobs of other people. The sales team need to communicate their requirements to the production department who in turn need to liaise with the supply team and distribution. The business processes are all very dependent upon each other and need to work in harmony if the business or organisation is to be successful. The ability to manage time and resources, so deadlines can be met, is crucial and a key responsibility for anyone in a management role.
In our relationships with friends and family we often recognise that there is someone in our circle who can be relied upon to resolve an organisational crisis or to calm a situation when things have not gone according to plan. It is highly likely that most of these situations are ones where people are late, things have not turned up or items needed are not where they should be. The ability to remain calm and to keep events and people on track is a sign that someone has mastered this step of Leadership. They can manage people, time and resources so that things happen when they are supposed to, whether it is for a social gathering, a sports match or another activity.
To best practise this step of Leadership, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step can be reinforced when learners have the opportunity to work together in teams on a project or extended task.
This step is best assessed through observation of an individual through a simulated task, as laid out above, or on a real-life project. The teacher can look for evidence that they were able to think about the tasks that needed to be completed, the time available, and how resources should be allocated. During the task, they can look for evidence that the leader is working to support the others in his team.
This step is relevant to all individuals who allocate work to other people.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed by observing the individual over time as they support a team to complete a task. This exercise could be a simulation or real life project. To support observations, a manager could stage a number of reflective conversations with the individual to look for evidence that they were able to think about the tasks that needed to be completed, the time available, and how resources should be allocated.
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: