I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve heard this comment from Business Owners. Why is it that other Businesses seem to have all the luck and have a Team that help them get where they want to go? There are two elements that need to be present right early on and these need to be driven by a strong leader. Bear in mind that when the jobs were handed out in your organisation, your hand went up and you chose to be that Leader. The two challenges are:-
1. Communicating to the team the vision (where is the business headed and why)
2. Having the right people in the right place
So what do you want your business to look like in 5 years time? Imagine you were going to build your dream house; how much effort would you put into the design? There would be drawings, calculations, materials lists, etc. There’d be a time plan of which trades were needed when and there’d be someone to oversee the whole project. This would be done to ensure that all the tradesmen were singing off the same hymn sheet; they would all know what was expected of them and by when. There’s no point in the carpenter coming to fit the roof if the footings haven’t yet been dug!
Now look at the business that you’re building and ask yourself the following questions.
● Have you got a written plan to the same level of detail as the house plans?
● Do all the team members know what the plan is or is it still in your head?
● How did you communicate this plan?
● How did you check that all the team actually understood the plan?
● How did you show the benefit to the team if they help you achieve the plan?
The most common reason that teams don’t pull together is that they actually don’t know which direction they’re going. They’re trying to do their best but haven’t been told what the goal is and so are making it up themselves. Imagine a room full of people all pointing in different directions; you put a rope around them all and tell them to walk forward. Where would they go…..? Nowhere, they’d just pull against each other. Now repeat the exercise but point them all in the same direction. See how they’ll move together as a team?
Once this planning is done and communicated we need to ensure that they are all working to the same ‘rules of the game’. This is where the ‘values’ of the business need to be firmly in place. As long as we have Team Players that live to the values they will all look for the ‘win – win’ outcomes. If however we have one of the team that doesn’t display the values, we should actively point out where they are falling short and if they don’t change, then manage them out of the business. There only needs to be one bad apple to cause huge team problems!