Have you ever had a day in which your wheels spin a bit slower? Have you noticed your team not putting the usual miles in at the office? It seems that when a team is aligned, focused and working together, projects excel. But when there’s a lack of focus, energy or commitment, or when benchmarks aren’t set in place, your team project doesn’t gain momentum.
Today,we’ll share these five tips from Elizabeth McCormick, a keynote speaker specializing in leadership, to assure your leadership and team directives match the result you envision.
1. Know Your Destination: When you begin with the end in mind, you have a distinctive vision of your desired direction and destination before instructing your team to launch. It doesn’t matter how big or small your project is—if the direction, intention or desired outcome isn’t clear, it will be tough to for your team reach its goal. Assume nothing, clarify everything, and have it in writing.
2. Engage Your Team: Once you have communicated the objectives to your team, start by having team members re-state the goals and desired outcomes in their own words. Also, flesh out the project, brainstorm with the team and add detail to the project. This type of activity will help jumpstart the camaraderie as your team begins working together as a team toward a common goal.
3. Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan: Be sure you have established the proper benchmarks, and signposts for you and your team, so that if there is any drifting off course, it will be recognized and realigned quickly without much wasted time or effort. Ensure that work is broken down into manageable, measurable, short-term goals to aid in motivation and increase productivity.
4. Own Your Results: As a leader, it’s your attitude, stamina, direction, commitment to the project and work ethic that establishes the environment and culture of your team, as well as the success of your project at hand. One of the biggest reasons people are taken off task is that the purpose for their task isn’t strong enough to keep them engaged. If this is happening, recognize it and take some time to clarify your team goal. And, regardless of why it happened, own the results. Empower your team to help you assess what went wrong, develop the proper benchmarks and guardrails to prevent that from happening again, and then map out a new flight plan to a better destination.
5. Collaborate—Share Your Progress: It is important to communicate, collaborate and share your progress. Your strategic plan could be working well. However, the marketing department may have new information that invalidates an initial premise or causes your data to be out of date. Informing them only at completion risks the success of your entire project. So, it’s important to keep key stakeholders up to speed throughout the entire process.
Include progress updates to those who are affected by your plans so that changes can be incorporated along the way.
Source: Elizabeth McCormick is a keynote speaker specializing in leadership, sales and safety presentations. She was recently named No. 4 on the list of leadership experts to follow online. A former U.S. Army Black Hawk pilot and author of The P.I.L.O.T. Method; the 5 Elemental Truths to Leading Yourself in Life, she teaches instantly applicable strategies to boost employees’ confidence in their own leadership abilities.