A few weeks ago, I was at a workshop and during the closing keynote, the speaker asked if there were any teams in the audience. A woman excitedly raised her hand and pointed to her 5 employees. The speaker then asked if he could use their team for an experiment. He asked them to all grab a sheet of paper and to quickly write down the vision and mission of their team.
Fast and furiously, everyone on the team treated this exercise as it was a race. They quickly wrote down their thoughts and turned their papers over as if they were hiding their answer. Once all the sheets were turned over, the speaker asked them to all hand their sheets over to their team manager. He then instructed the manager to read through the responses in her head. As this was happening, the managers expression seemed to change after reading each response. Sometimes she looked happy, other times shocked and sometimes confused. The speaker asked, “Are all the responses the same?” With a sheepish look she said, “Unfortunately no”.
The lesson this keynote speaker was trying to share with the audience was that many teams, lose their way. They get busy in their daily lives and forget to ask themselves, “Is what I am doing in line with the vision, mission and values of my team?” When leadership teams don’t have a vision, or don’t articulate it clearly and often, team members forget what they are actually working for. Sometimes this leads to lack of motivation, lack of creative solutions, staff burn out, unethical decision making, and overall team inefficiency. You need vision to create company culture and culture is what defines a company.
If you are a manager, I encourage you to do this exercise with your team. In fact, I encourage you to do it often with your teams. If their responses are different than yours, or are different from each others, I want to chat with you. As leaders ability to forecast vision is one of their most crucial job responsibilities. I want to help you get your team back on track. If your team is lost when it comes to vision, they are merely a hamster on a wheel. They are using a lot of effort to run and keep up, but aren’t making progress. Lets Chat!
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