Working with a variety of organizations, from large public companies to smaller private clients and even those in the nonprofit world, one thing seems to plague large and small alike: forgetfulness.
Organizations seem to forget the basic blocking and tackling of the business world as they wrestle with the urgent issues of the day, every day. Busy organizations tend to forget the importance of doing the basics that brought about their early success. In this post, I'll discuss some practical tips to stay focused on the basics, and the happy results for those who do.
Back to Basics
It's difficult to imagine we need a coach to emphasize the basics, but if we're not doing the basics how do we snap out of the doldrums and get on with it?
World-class athletes have coaches who help them see themselves from an outside perspective. These coaches help them see the big picture when they may be consumed by one particular challenge. As a business consultant or coach, I have found that good organizations are often so focused on one or two specific challenges that they forget to do the basics well, and the mission suffers.
The Centrality of the Mission
A great organization continually communicates their mission. It's the reason many of their employees are in the organization — they care about the mission.
The CEO and other senior leaders must reinforce this as often as they can in order to tie individual and team performance to the accomplishment of a meaningful and valuable mission. They must communicate the mission consistently and rally the team to the importance of their daily struggle at work. It's what keeps the team focused and energized.
Once they have communicated the mission, leaders must set and communicate organizational goals that support it. Having a great mission may rally and motivate the team, but it is not sufficient to deliver performance and achieve results.
What Delegation Communicates to Your Team
Senior leaders must delegate these goals down to subordinate business units, who must in turn digest their task and communicate back to leadership how they plan to accomplish these goals. As they present their ideas, the leaders have the opportunity to empower these business units and recognize great performance.
I've found that delegation to our teams and individuals emphasizes the importance they play in the organization. Staff employees feel valued when entrusted with these critical tasks, and will use their minds, education, innovation and experience to present solutions that would not otherwise be considered. It’s a sign of trust when the CEO or chief operating officer entrusts a mission-critical task to their staff.
Great organizations and their leaders look for opportunities to include junior employees in delegated goals. How important does a junior team member feel when asked to contribute to a critical team goal that supports the mission? A C-level executive takes a risk by delegating critical organizational tasks to the staff, but watch and be amazed at the creativity and excitement the staff provides to accomplish the mission.
The final basic step is to hold people accountable. This helps them achieve. When team members know they will be held accountable, they break out of the routine and take on the challenges that surely are ahead.
Achieve Uncommon Results
Consistent performance of the basics will achieve uncommon results. Communicating the mission, setting goals and delegating those goals, taking the back-briefs and holding people accountable, pulling in junior staff to help achieve the organization’s meaningful mission — these basics produce high-performing organizations.
Why do organizations need coaches to point out the basics? They're sometimes forgetful. We help them to continue doing the basics.
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About the Author
Dr. Gasper Gulotta is a dynamic business executive. He is known for helping companies open new markets, accelerate growth and improve ROI by establishing a challenging vision in attractive markets, building a consensus and establishing enterprise-wide commitment to its success.
A West Point graduate, Gasper possesses the rigor and discipline to develop tomorrow’s leaders and open new markets to consistently deliver superior results.
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