In my last Blog I reflected on the thought that when it comes to leading people, one of the hardest things to do is: to lead the people (read here).
And even though I affirmed that there are no “simple” answers, I committed to reviewing several principles that are transferable to any number of leadership environments:
The first step on my short list is, "Clarify the Mission." Over the years I have now written extensively on the essential need to state a clear objective in the form of a central goal, theme, or mission statement. Overemphasizing this point would be impossible.
Every person who joins the leader’s team will come with a pre-existing set of skills, experiences, opinions, and objectives. If left alone, each person will therefore understandably sort out the focus of their time utilization based on their conflagration of factors. A resulting dilution of team harmony and effort will be the outcome.
The first step to mitigate these factors is to provide a singular “north star” directive towards which every person who has their hand on the rope can begin to pull in concert. As my friend Larry likes to say, the goal is to get all of the arrows pointing in the same direction. The simple and yet often overlooked key is to clarify, articular and continuously reinforce the stated mission.
That is step one. And of course, it need not be complicated. Oh, Contraire! The “KISS” method of stating the goal, objective, mission wins every time: keep it short and simple.
That is step one. I will take time to unpack each of the other points outlined last time (read here) in the weeks ahead, knowing that leading is possible only if we demonstrate the courage to lead…
Photo Credit: Daniil Silantev