05/22/2014 06:42 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2014

Examine Your Success Strategies: Your Weekly Wake-Up Call to Become a More Effective Leader

Success in parenting is what
your kids do when you're not around.
Success in leadership is what
your employees do when you're not around.
--- Anthony Silard

I'm sure you've heard the popular saying that keeps many leaders up at night: "When the cat's away, the mice play."

In part a response to this very human dynamic, effective leaders clearly communicate three vital pieces of information to their employees: what must be achieved for the company to be successful (a few large, ambitious goals); how this success will be measured (specific objectives aligned with each goal and linked to measurable results); and how it will be rewarded (incentives their employees have been brought into the process of creating).

Effective leaders also establish a clear, periodic feedback loop so their employees regularly know how they're doing and what they need to improve on to reach their objectives.

Just as children seek security from their parents, employees seek security from their leaders. They seek clarity rather than confusion about how to grow in their positions. A clear system that defines success, how it will be measured, and what the rewards will be provides employees with this security.

This week, take stock of the "success formula" in your organization. Ask yourself, "Is it clear to each person what their goals are and how these goals will be rewarded?" and "Are the rewards tangible and motivating?" Then ask these same questions to your employees.

Consider how you can upgrade the setting, evaluating, and rewarding of goals that equate to superior performance in your organization so you can become proud of what your employees do with their time when you're not around.