It is easy to get distracted by ambiguous goals, sales targets and many other issues of daily operations. As the leader though, it is imperative to HAVE and PROVIDE a clear path of direction. This is for you to make strong decisions and for your team to be able to execute their part of the work. As we are clear on where we are headed not only do we work more effectively but we are able to identify obstacles that could get in the way and then make plans to overcome them.
Effectively leading your teams to their highest level of operation requires you to be crystal clear with your vision and the milestones to get there. If you are confused about what you want and where you're headed, then the team will struggle to execute tasks to support the direction. When the team is not executing, a leader can feel exhausted and frustrated with their team, as they reflect that confusion. That is not their fault – that is a telltale sign, the vision and direction are not clear.
Here are some daily reminders to help gain clarity:
1) Review your core operations and principles:
- your purpose (WHY you exist) and mission (WHAT you do)
- your vision (HOW you fulfill your purpose and add value to those you serve)
- who you serve (customer) and how to better to serve those customers
- your core products, services, and offerings
- discussed ideas, goals/targets and strategies (suggestions and concepts)
- the set targets or milestones
- your strategic plan or outline of WHAT needs to be done to reach the goal
- the RESULTS that happen when the destination is reached à Does all this support your purpose, mission and vision?
- are these simple, clear and understood or are they long, complicated and complex to understand?
- Ensure the match and build on each other….
- Check to make sure the actions to execute will result in an output that supports the purpose, mission and vision (sometimes we spend a lot of time doing activity that is really not about our “main thing” if there is activity that does not support the core purpose, mission and vision, make sure there is a clear reason for it and it is defined apart from the core direction) (otherwise the team gets confused about what the organization is up to and feels that is the new direction)
- ask your leadership team – if they don’t know or understand, you can stop there and fix it before moving on
- ask some people on your team some of the items from the above review. See if they know them and how they look in action. If they don’t -- back to the drawing board; either:
- it is too complicated or long or not memorable
- it has not been communicated and shared enough
- it is not easy to remember and does not seem relevant to their role
- they do not feel part of the community that their engagement matters
- ask someone outside your team (mentor, peer, spouse, etc.) – Does it make sense to them?
- review your core purpose, mission and vision monthly with the team (don’t make it methodical and ridiculous – find ways to weave this into the culture or checkpoints you already have)
- help your team understand what the goals, change or targets are and what a WIN looks like
- Share stories of past successes to show it is possible
- Look for ways to measure wins like increases in sales, profits, pay increases for employees, happier customers, or a brighter future
- Find examples of other companies that are winning and share those stories with your team
- enroll your team for feedback and their perspective – in today’s millennial world you MUST listen and have community with your team
- make sure it is relevant to their role, help them process how the core messages apply to their tasks and goals and what is in it for them
- explore the win for the business and the team when success happens
Clarity is critical for effective and on-point execution. Use this outline of checkpoints to ensure you are focused and leading in a direction. As a bonus, your team will not only be on board but will be the wind beneath your wings as everyone is focused on the goals to be met.