Pulling Together – Achieving Results
I see this dynamic in action everywhere today. Companies feel like workers don’t respect their objectives and don’t deliver results. Employees feel taken advantage of and disrespected. It doesn’t happen in every company, but it happens in enough of them for us to have a conversation about it. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of sharing the same vision… or not. When I interviewed Sue, I was able to learn a lot about how they do things at her workplace.
Three Aspects of Leadership that Create Successful Outcomes
I’ve called this “Pulling Together – Achieving Results.” It’s the best analogy I can think of to illustrate the problem. Consider two teams at a picnic getting ready have a tug o’ war. Both teams are using all their might pulling in opposite directions and neither of them make much progress. Eventually one side gets worn out and the other side wins. Sure, progress was made, but a lot of unproductive energy was expended in the process. Great achievements happen when we stop the tug o’ war to pull together instead of against each other.
Sue had been working at the same position in her company for a short while. She wasn’t sure what the company had for a vision. The actions of the company didn’t seem to have anything to do with the “Mission Statement” anymore. When she agreed to lead a team, she wasn’t sure how she could boost morale and get better results. We sat down and talked about the Three Aspects of Leadership that can make the most significant difference in achieving excellent results.
Present a Clear Vision
There are two sides to having a compelling vision – First, you must understand what the vision is. You just can’t skip this step. What’s the end game? What are we trying to accomplish? What’s the goal? You cannot formulate a plan if you don’t know what result you’re aiming for. Once you have grasped the vision and embraced it, it’s time to share it.
Communicating a clear vision to your team, and all the rewards that come with it, will help them to see what your aim is. It’s the best way to convince them to join you on the adventure! Once you’re all facing the same way in the boat, and rowing on both sides, forward movement is inevitable.
Increasing Buy-In from the Team
Communication with your team is critical. You must understand what will motivate them to embrace the vision once they absorb it. Respect and two-way conversation will provide sunshine and water to the seed you planted when you shared the goal with them. When people can visualize the goal and feel respected for their part in it, they are more likely to be bought in and to enjoy working together towards the finish line.
As the leader of a team, you must be aware of the strength of the vision from above. This includes holding the line, when necessary. It also includes keeping your team aware of any changes in strategy.
How often do you hear the phrase “taking ownership?” It’s a real buzzword in the business world today. The problem is, it means many things to many people. You hear it used to take the place of:
Taking responsibility – for the results
Taking blame – when things go wrong
Taking credit – for successes, real or imagined
When you convey ownership to your team, you are asking them to act as if they ARE the company. This happens when they are genuinely working together towards a shared vision. Taking ownership requires a total cooperative effort, working together… it’s the vision, the buy-in, the whole thing… from conception to completion. That’s where the magic happens!
This Week’s Challenge
This week, I challenge you to work on understanding and communicating your company’s vision. Once it’s clear in your mind… share it with your coworkers. Take a leadership role, whether you’ve got the title or not. Think of new ways to increase buy-in and convey ownership.
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Quote of the Week
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
– Warren Bennis