How important is leadership? Time and time again, I’ve seen teams that were once high performing —a generating best-in-class results — fail under new leadership. Same team, yet dramatically different results. Why?
Great leaders are the X factor. A team’s success depends on the ability of the working parts (people) to synergistically generate desired results — especially, in the stone fabrication business.
Great leaders have a positive influence on a team’s performance, as well as the individuals who make up the team. There are a few critical factors that impact both the team and the individual’s success. These include: Clarity — crystal clear objectives & expectations; Trust — ongoing communication and Scoreboards.
Clarity: Most humans want to feel important. We are emotional beings and emotions drive engagement. Most of the members on your team desire to make a positive contribution towards the team’s success. Unfortunately, the challenge arises because employees are not given crystal clear direction of what defines success in their roles. People are thrust into roles and jobs without knowing the main objective of the job, as well as a lot of ambiguity on “how” to perform those roles to be successful.
About 10 years ago, out of frustration, I asked my leadership team two simple questions:
- What was the most important deliverable for their departments/positions?
- How was it measured?
I asked each person to write down their answers, fold the paper in half and leave it on the table after the meeting. As I started to read their answers, it was clear to me, I had a major problem. Most didn’t have clear expectations of what their deliverable was for their roles and they didn’t know how they were being measured.
I changed that for everyone almost overnight. Every role in the organization was dissected. We identified the top three deliverables for each role, as well as how it was going to be measured (less is more). Then we shared the results with the entire organization. We created extreme clarity what was expected for each role. The results were tracked and posted on scoreboards, which were publicly posted for everyone to see. (Goal, Actual and Variance)
When people know they are being “scored” and the results will be plastered up in lights for everyone to see, their awareness, engagement and behaviors change almost immediately.
When goals were achieved, the scoreboard was green. When results fell short of the goal, it was posted in red. Almost overnight, people became dialed into their scoreboards, roles and results. They were now ENGAGED. The expectations were established, the scoreboards were put in place and now people wanted to win. They enjoyed excelling in their roles; it made them feel great. People then started asking questions around, “I wonder how I can generate better results to improve my scoreboard results?”
Great leaders will show their team “how to win” at their roles. Dial into people’s emotions and you will create engagement.
Trust: Great leaders genuinely care about their people, including their personal growth and success. Genuinely means showing and demonstrating, not telling. We trust people who have shown they will honor and fulfill their commitments. One of the quickest ways to shatter the bond of trust with someone is to not honor a commitment made to them. A leader will invest into their people and their teams. They will provide the necessary training and coaching to maximize an individual’s performance. How do we feel about people that demonstrate this amount of effort and resources poured into our own personal and professional development? We quickly become big fans. Great leaders become the lead cheerleader for the individuals and team’s success. That leader is the super-charger that provides the fuel for the team to sustain and perform at a high level.
Scoreboard: Every employee should be able to answer this question: Did they win at their job today? Specifically, how will they know the answer to that question, SCOREBOARDS. They should be posted publicly and updated daily. Master this concept and the results will follow:
- Show them the clarity of the goal of their roles.
- Show them how to win and perform at a high level in the role.
- Show them their results and performance each day.