A leader’s most important task is to create clarity for themselves and their organization.
Without personal clarity life satisfaction decreases and complacency sets in. Without organizational clarity productivity suffers and turnover increases.
Lack of personal clarity begins with lack of clearly defined goals both short term and long term. We know that “I want to accomplish something sometime” isn’t a goal, but if you look at the goals you have written down for 2015 (they are written down, right?) how many fall apart with a couple of probing questions? (e.g. “I want to run a marathon in 2015.” Why? “Because my I like to challenge myself.” How will training for a marathon help you spend more time with your family in 2015? “Oh….”).
The miniature scene at the end of the last paragraph sets up another big reason we lack clarity in our lives – prioritization. Successful individuals are adept at prioritizing, which means liberal use of the word “no.” Look over your goals once they are written down and rank them 1 to however many goals you wrote down. You can’t have ties. Winners make decisions. Before you get too anxious about your rankings understand that ranking a goal near the bottom doesn’t mean you won’t accomplish that goal it just means you might need more time than you originally planned.
Lack of organizational clarity is a three headed monster.
- No understanding of employees’ personal goals – your employees work for you because they feel working for you helps them achieve their personal goals more effectively that working for someone else. By understanding your employees’ personal goals you can tie successful achievement of corporate goals to achievement of personal goals
- Mutual mystification around daily activities – with corporate goals detached from an employee’s personal goals they will look around and decide, based on what their peers are doing or their own personal motivation, which activities they will do each day and how productive they will be. By creating an accountability program with specific, measureable activities you will increase productivity
- Uncertainty about your organization’s approach to outside influences – as we move into a new year with uncertainty surrounding the price of oil, you, as lead dog, must set a consistent pace for your employees to follow. Sandler trainers and our clients choose not to participate in economic downtowns. Instead we choose to continue doing our daily activities despite the fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding us
In 2015 up your personal life satisfaction and stretch yourself by clearly prioritizing explicit goals and create clarity for your employees by implementing an accountability program that ties corporate success to their personal success and choose to continue doing the activities that build your business.
Hamish Knox is a Sandler Trainer in Calgary, Alberta.
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