Team through the mountains

21 March 2018

A team with poor communication, unclear expectations, undefined purpose and vision, and poorly communicated measurable outcomes, can’t be expected to fully engaged in your business. It’s more likely it will be just another job to them.

I’ve witnessed these ‘toxic workplaces’ that have a high turnover of staff and poor leadership countless times over the 30 years I’ve been developing high performing teams. And in nearly every organisation that’s having limited success, it comes down to a lack of clarity, commitment and passion around your vision, values and goals.

After all, if a leader and their team are not aligned with their vision, values and goals how can anyone be expected to succeed and achieve?

Culture is manifested through effective leadership. Phenomenal leadership embraces the business vision, values and goals. A leader ensures this is communicated and that the values align with their team members.  In fact, the team is chosen from the values, passion, and strengths of the individual well above other competencies.

Often people explain to me that they feel like they’re on a treadmill, pressured, unhappy, overworked, feel like a square peg in a round hole, exhausted, misunderstood, undervalued, insignificant. They don’t have any clarity; they don’t know what direction they are going. Perhaps this sounds familiar to you also?

Tell me, are you engaged in your workplace? Do you enjoy going to work? Do you have fun, laugh, socialise? Are you kicking goals? Do you celebrate team achievements? Do you converse with others in your team? Do you feel significant, valued? Do you have diversity and challenge in your week? Are you energised? Are you continuing to expand the business and grow through learning new skills, from successes and failures? Do you help and inspire others to grow in your team? Do you feel connected to others, including your supervisors and peers? Are you achieving and contributing?

These are all very important for self-fulfilment and satisfaction in any role within a business whether as a team member or leader. I would challenge that if you are not leading a team with this approach, you are a manager, not a leader, and probably not achieving business success like you could with a highly committed, productive, energised team.

Ouch, hey? I do empathise. It’s easy to get bogged down in the ‘doing’ of keeping up to date on tasks, implementing your products and services, doing other’s work and managing crisis within a team. This where I see so many leaders focus, daily. The implementation and people absorb all of their time in a business, rather than vision, innovation, culture, benchmarks of excellence, strategic direction and quality structures.

But is this really the kind of leader you want to be? Is this the kind of reflection you would like your employees to remember you for?  Here are six ways you can turn your motivation and team around to bring exceptional leadership to your business.

1. Know your why

What is it that you need, dream, want, desire? What is your internal locus of control? Your trigger points? Your inspiration? Your truth? What moves you?

If your big why is not inspired or valued in this workplace, do you think you’re ever going to reach fulfilment or happiness here? No! This isn’t your bus! Time to find another bus or mode of travel that puts you in the driver’s seat. On the other hand if your big why rocks in this space, embrace it! Share it, value it and energise it. Make every move purposeful to achieve it. Believe it and action it.

2. Set your vision

Where is your journey leading you? What does the destination look like? Does it move you? Challenge you? Inspire You? Can you see it? What does it look like? Feel like? What can you hear from others around you? What are you telling yourself.

Be clear about your vision. Place yourself there and immerse yourself in its space. Does it suit you? Does it inspire you? Are you passionate about getting there? If so, this is your vision. Own it, share it, dream it and action it.

3. Know your values

What do you value in life? What can you not go in life without? What do you do in your spare time? What makes you happy? Write a list and then prioritise them. Now shorten the list to 10. Now 5. Here are your top values.

Now, do they align with the business values? What are the business values? As a phenomenal leader, it’s imperative to know the core business values. This will fuel the journey to the destination.

So what values do you need to uphold for you and for all? What is good for everyone – your team, clients, stakeholders, community and global citizens? I used to run training on values, and I would consciously align individual personal values with the business values.

This was also a strong part of my recruitment strategy. If the individual and business values did not align I knew we were heading for an unsustainable relationship and I did not recruit based on this alone. When staff when were challenged, or disgruntled, I often found that their values did not align. We would openly discuss, and with love and support help them to find other work that would suit them better. Everyone was happy.

When your values align with business values, it’s like a match in heaven. Passion, love and commitment flow.

4. Establish a culture of family, love and support

Does that sound ridiculous to you? It seems so simple and obvious to me. It’s what everyone desires: To be loved, valued and feel like they belong to a group, family or team. It’s about respecting others, connecting fully, supporting others’ strengths and stretches and becoming raving fans of one another.

Having a culture that embraces a common purpose, a team that is united in vision and values, and a workplace that operate on acceptance, kindness, community spirit, fun, laughter, celebrations, succuss and collaboration to achieve goals brings your business a culture of magic and measurable success. I always encourage hard work and serious play at all my workplaces – and I lead by example.

5. Determine your strategic direction

To have a dream is one thing, to have strategic planning and direction is another. Even the best-laid plans can stay on the bench top if not actioned. People can be huge dreamers and get nothing done, and for this reason, it’s essential to develop a clear direction and route if you will allow me to continue with the bus metaphor.

What are the strategies and structures you need? What are the outcomes of each? How is it measured? Who is responsible for it? What is the timeline? How will you measure its success or know when it’s achieved?

6. Establish clear goals

Goals can be small and achievable or larger goals that stretch you. The one problem you want to watch out for though are goals not linked to your company’s vision and values.  If they are not aligned, they have no place on this journey.

You also need to establish goals that are measurable. Make them in sequence and always apply behavioural flexibility and business acuity. If it doesn’t work, move on, change it or review it. Goals can be flexible. I particularly like doing goals in timeline phases. One week from now, one month from now, three months, six months, twelve months, eighteen months and two years. You get the gist.

It’s also important to celebrate all learnings, milestones and successes. At the end of each day, I’ll reflect and celebrate successes and achievements and look at the day with gratitude for all learnings and connections.

Now imagine if you took this approach to leading your team? What if this was your legacy? It would be life changing! You would be positively impacting the lives of others daily, and your contribution would lead to a highly successful team and business.

What are some steps you can take this week to move towards exceptional leadership? Leave me a message in the comment section below!

Want to become a more effective leader? Let’s have a chat on 0407 915 300 or bec@becfox.com.au and be sure to check out our leadership coaching and high performance teams pages for more information. 

Bec Fox

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