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Get Clear or Get Lost

The first principle of success for high performance teams and the businesses in which they work is clarity.

This seems so simple, and it is. It’s just not easy. 

 

Quick! Recite your company vision...now the mission...now the values...

Do you know three organizational goals?

If you’re like 98% of the business owners and leaders I work with, you didn’t do very well on that exercise. So why all the hype around company vision, mission, etc.? 

Because it’s really freakin’ important!

 

Wait a minute. If it’s really freakin’ important then why don’t most of us know them?

Great question.

Herein lie the problems: What was once clear, has since been muddled.

What seemed clear to the founders, was never clearly conveyed to the team.

What was once clear, was actually just a fancy bunch of words which were never grounded in the actual culture or construct of the business (ouch). 

 

Be Visionary

A company Vision should be big and bold. It should make a statement about the greatness you want to achieve. It should inspire and serve as a north star.

It should be the filter through which all actions and decisions in the business can be gauged. It needs to be memorable or it’s just a big waste of time. Long, flowery vision statements rarely inspire or get traction.

 

Mission Critical

Whereas the company Vision says “we will be…”, the company Mission is positioned as the “this is how we do it...”. It’s the “how” and the “what” in the process of moving toward the Vision.

It’s your go-to staple on how you get down to business.

The mission will serve as the rudder to navigate toward the vision - guiding and directing the team through both clear and turbulent times. And just like the vision, make it memorable and meaningful or nobody will care (except the few people who came up with it) .

 

Value Proposition

As a business owner and/or leader, I really hope you have your guiding values nailed. Ideally, you limit it to three, definitely no more than five (and don’t cheat and do something like “honesty & integrity and think it counts as one!).

Remember, these are things you want everybody to know and embrace.

Keep it short.

Keep it simple.

What can be a bit more challenging is defining the behaviors which promote the values. It is also exponentially more important!

What does “respect” look like in your business?

What about “resourceful”?

“Guest focused”?

While you won’t be able to have an exhaustive list, providing a list of 3-5 core behaviors which support each of your values is crucial. 

 

Remastering Goals

So many company goals are flaccid and uninspiring.

Example, “We will realize a X% increase in [insert metric here].

Which sounds to your team like: ”We will....blah, blah, blah...barf”.

While revenue and growth metrics are important for the business, your teams are the ones who are on the front lines; providing the service or making the thing. It’s so important...let me repeat that...it’s sooooo important to have goals that ignite the fires within your team.

Yes, they should of course line up with the company goals, but when you prioritize your people and their purpose, you will propel productivity and profits (which, I’m sure, just got us back to most company goals). [Check out my other blog post MASTERING GOALS]

 

You Are Here

Before you set off for the promised land, you better have a really clear idea of where you’re starting.

Knowing the classic SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) elements at each of the business, leader, and team level is critical for success. The reality is, most businesses are building the ship while sailing - staying afloat becomes the most relevant factor very quickly.

As quickly as possible, you need to know exactly where you are starting, who is on your ship, who has what skills and what skillsets are missing, what tools you have, and what supplies you have.

Armed with all that information, keep that Vision in mind as your clear destination and use the Mission GPS to keep sailing in the right direction.

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