Monday, February 4, 2008

Hey Leader, Have you Landed?

Imagine Noah landing (after 40 days of arking) on a mountain top and saying, "Yes, this is what we're going to do, this where we're going to be!" After his team unloads half of the animals, Noah says..."Uh, no, not this mountain, pack em' up, we're going over there!" His team, scratching there heads a bit, comply and go through the daunting task of gathering up all the animals and re-loading them in the ark. They land on the next mountain top and the same thing happens. And again. And again... How many mountain-tops would it take to frustrate the team, even to the point of not even unloading the animals when asked?

In several work places and teams I've been a part of, this is one area leadership or management has struggled. A few thoughts:
  • Is your vision clear, is the game plan mapped out?
  • Are you leaking your vision causing members of your team to act prematurely or move in the wrong direction?
  • How long will it take your team to shut-down and not react to your "plan"- do they simply know to wait because it will change in two weeks anyway? Have they stopped unloading the animals?
  • Are you making parts of your vision/priorities more urgent than they really are? Is this causing your team to hurry up and wait?
  • Has anyone on your team wasted their time on your objectives that simply went away? Does this keep happening?
  • Are you able to tell your team, "I don't know yet, I'll let you know when we're ready" rather than making a hasty decision?

Be clear with your vision. Be committed to your plan. Give your team confidence that you've "landed" and it's "go-time". Whether leading or managing, clear objectives and timelines will help make you someone worth following...... so for your team's sake..... land.

1 comment:

Michael Gray said...

I like this post.

I have known leaders that think it is visionary to regularly haul everything to one mountaintop to another believing that they are making progress. In reality, its usually just due to a lack of forethought and planning.

One thing I have learned, however, is that if you question the effectiveness of the constant mountain-hopping, this sort of leader can oftentimes feel like your stifling his/her leadership and not on board with "the vision". That gets frustrating.