This is an all too common situation for failing businesses or teams who have been leaderless for some time and then a new leader is appointed. It is also a very common occurrence during times of sales, mergers and acquisitions – the ‘let’s appear busy’ syndrome.
Here is what we have supported many of our clients implement and which has brought some outstanding results.
Step back and appreciate the very normal scenario for which you are now responsible. What you are witnessing are motivated people who want to please; yet they are unclear as to the direction or approach they have to take to find success.
They just need leadership. Bear in mind that most people are in this situation to some degree; trying to succeed in spite of poor leadership above them.
Decide right now that your team will not fit the criteria of one of the most frightening of business statistics, namely, 30% of time wasted in an organisation is down to lack of clarity and the nearer you get to Head Office the greater the percentage appears to get!
Commit to ensuring that your team has clarity.
This means that firstly you have to work out what you are trying to achieve and where you want the team to go. What you expect from then and what they can expect from you. Secondly you have to repeatedly and consistently share this with then to inspire them and to equip then to do the same for other stakeholders. We recommend using the proven Merriweather 7Q’s approach.
Don’t worry about discovering what the team are actually doing. You will never get to the bottom of this and it creates an environment where people feel attacked; busted or look stupid when in fact they were simply lacking experience or leadership, neither of which are their fault.
Instead, decide and commit to inspiring them to consider what they will now start doing.
Provide clarity on the 12 – 18 month plan and ask the team to decide what the most important objectives are that have to be achieved in the next 90 days.
Use the Merriweather Strategic and Tactical Planning workshop to help you consider and capture you plan.
Get some agreed actions from everyone and add some of your own. Include some ‘softer’ people/team/leadership actions too and then get their focus on having to come back in front of their colleagues in 90 days’ time to declare either Green or Red. At Merriweather we never use amber as we see it largely as an excuse.
We find that typically on a quarterly cycle the accountability dashboard achieves about 50% at the first attempt – 70% at the second and then after 6 months or more, scores between 80- 90% become the norm.
You now have a team who are doing what they need to do to achieve success.
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