4 Ways to Get Your Team on the Same Page

Anyone out there trying to get a group of people moving in the same direction? It is hard, isn’t it. After observing hundreds of companies through the years I am convinced that there are only a few seasons in the life of a company where an entire team is aligned and moving in the same direction.

There are a few leaders who know how to do this consistently. Most leaders get swept up into the drama of the week or get tired and a bit lazy. I know I have gotten stuck in that.

So, for those of you who want to get better in getting your people moving together, on purpose, here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. Do People Know You Are For Them?

I have found that if people believe you have an ulterior motive they will not jump in. If, however, people know that you want the best for them and they believe your motives then they will be at least open to your ideas. If you want people to know you are for them then you need to spend time with them, listen to them and make sure they know you have heard them and then speak to them with respect, in as much as you would want if it was you. Practice being for people. Ask them if they believe you are for them. If they don’t then you have an opportunity to grow with them.

2. Communicate in Their Language/Voice:

At GiANT we teach something called 5 Voices, which helps people understand their voice, whether they are a Pioneer, Connector, Creative, Guardian or Nurturer for instance. The point here is to make sure that you are communicating to each style of leader. If you are moving people forward have you answered the questions for those who value people and want to make sure they are taken care of (Nurturer)? Are you addressing the issues of the Guardian who guards systems and wants to make sure the logical details have been addressed? Think about the voices on your team and make sure you answer the questions that they would ask.

3. Put a Deadline to Hit a Project:

I have found through time that the best way to get teams working together is to have a goal or deadline to hit. When things are ongoing there is a natural decline in morale as busyness and issues creep in. If you want to get your teams moving on the same page then choose a date like New Years or the end of summer or a choose an anniversary date of the company as a motivation to move towards.

4. Celebrate!

Some of us are better than others. Appropriate celebration creates memories and inside stories that build culture. Choose a proper launch once the above has happened then create some celebration events or moments to stop and publicly share successes. This makes future initiatives easier to launch.

Let’s get our teams moving together. It just starts with you.

You don’t know what you need to help you get unstuck from what you don’t realize is keeping you down.

You don’t know what you need to help you get unstuck from what you don’t realize is keeping you down.

Did you catch that? That is a tongue twister. Read that title again.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being with over 50 executives at two of our Exec Core events (www.executivecore.info). During the week I had so many conversations with leaders who know there is something wrong but don’t know what it is. These leaders are great people – noble, honourable and successful. And yet, I am not sure they can vocalize clearly what it is that is undermining them or holding them back even though they know there is something.

Is that more clear?

Good people. Doing successful things. However, they feel something is holding them back or limiting them, but they can’t describe it fully and thus, don’t have a solution.

The primary reason for this is that adults have a propensity for hitting speed bumps and keep moving. I get it. We are all busy and have demands from family to kids to jobs to…and never get the real time we need to contemplate and to think. So, we get up the next day and charge forward in the same way. Except that over time our energy becomes less, our secret sauce begins to dissipate and we become unproductive. The problem then is that people try to analyze what they think the problem is without really going deep to find out.

It may be your purpose is off. You may find it is the people in your life. Your issue could be the place you live or work. Or it simply might be a very personal matter than has never been dealt with before. And so, you don’t know what you need to help you get unstuck from what you don’t realize is keeping you down.

We have a process called the Leader Intensive that helps leaders look back over the past life to see the highs and lows and connect it to their personality tendencies to find patterns. Those patterns have consequences which affect reality. When we can peer in to the leaders world we can see those patterns multiply time and time again causing the same results in a frustrating way. It becomes so obvious and yet the person had never taken the time, invested resources and gone deep enough to find the patterns that were holding them back. Almost every time we hear a leader say, “well that was right in front of me. wow. I had no idea that was the linchpin to my undermining.”

If you are in a place where your % of being alive is below 70% then may I implore you to choose a date to stop, gain some counsel (whether from a friend or GiANT) and find that which is keeping you back and undermining you consistently?

The leaders who invest in themselves tend to find the breakthroughs that raise their capacity and benefit those around them.

To say you are in tough season is not enough. Go 2-3 steps deeper to find out what it really is and why it is there in the first place.

Careful Making Big Decisions

Are you about to make a big decision in the next 3-6 months?

If so, careful. Listen to this reason before you do so.

Perception: I recently talked with a guy wanted to change his job because he had talked to a friend who had made a change and he felt like it was time. Reality: He was making a change because a buddy did. His decision making ability was skewed.

Perception: An acquaintance bought a home to match his title – meaning it was expensive and created an image suitable to what others viewed. Reality: It was killing him and his wife as it wasn’t them and the financial pressure was negatively impacting him.

If you are making a decision about a job, a home, a new vehicle, etc then let me challenge you to be careful not to rationalize your decision because you simply want it. People can justify things easily.

Therefore, be careful on leaning on your thinking or understanding about a situation especially if you are frustrated with your current situation or boss or salary. Bitterness or jealousy or self-pity can enter the decision process and create a very poor argument for making change.

So, if that is you, be careful. Put your decision on a piece of paper and look at it from all sorts of angles. Judge yourself to see if their is animosity or envy or anything else that might be clouding your decision making.

I tell my kids often, “good decisions, good life.”

Don’t rush, but fight to get to reality for you and your family.

Total. Recharge.

This title sounds like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Imagine being totally recharged. That is what I am attempting to do while on holiday starting this week.

As I briskly walk past the myriad of workers charging into their respective offices in London I am fully aware that most of these people are not recharged, but are working with a constant reminder of “20% of battery life left” flashing in their brains. My battery is saying that as well. After a full year of transitioning across the pond, starting another new venture in the GiANT family and traveling and meeting and serving and…I am simply tired.

How about you?

And so, my wife and I are going away to some sand and a hut on the water in the middle of the Indian Ocean. You see, I am terrible at recharging because I recharge with people and they can drain at the same time they recharge. I have chosen my books, made my lists, given my to-do’s while gone and have the kids all lined up for us to have an amazing tropical vacation void of hurricanes (as I have had issues with those in the past).

What do you need to do to recharge? Perhaps you have already spent your vacation and are still tired.

Here are a 5 helpful tips for you to consider no matter where you are:

  1. Count your blessings – literally make a list of all the good things happening in your life right now, by name.
  2. Get perspective – when was the last time you felt like this? What happened then? Eliminate your exaggerated view of where you are.
  3. State reality – Once you state the true facts then you can begin to know how you need to recharge. For instance, I am really in a good place, just a bit tired and need/want time away w my best friend – my wife.
  4. Understand what you need now – A historical fiction novel, a journal, some good food or great conversation. Whatever it is, make it meet the needs you have at this season.
  5. Set yourself up for success when you return – I have made my lists for people and have asked people to handle this and that for me. Delegate appropriately and you will have an easier time reconnecting upon return.

Yes, I am getting away, while others may not. However, Total Recharge can take place in multiple ways – even if you are not on an island on the equator.

Stay recharged for the benefit of everyone.

Leaders Define Culture

If you have a bad culture and you are the leader then it is because of you that it exists.

That was bold. Leaders define culture. If things are not as you would like it to be then a few things may be occurring:

You have been leading accidentally. The opposite of intentional is accidental. Most parenting is accidental – parents hoping their kids grow up well without much leadership or intentionality.

You have gotten lazy. You may have good intent, but have simply gotten tired in your leadership and in your organization.

You don’t know what to do. You read articles and books on growing the culture but your personality or style or efforts simply haven’t moved the needle in cultural health.

So, let me ring the bells, wake us up and challenge all of us to define the culture. What do we want? Why do you want it? What needs to be done?

Here are 4 things that are imperative to helping you define culture.

1. Create a Vocabulary

Cultures are built on the words that are used – a common vocabulary or glossary of words and their meaning. If you define culture then define words that are consistent. At GiANT, we have been introducing objective vocabulary to help leaders use words that change culture.

2. Use Sticky Visuals

We use tools that can be drawn on a cocktail napkin. They are simple, scaleable and sustainable. They enforce the language and help establish the vocabulary.

3. Build a Vehicle to Implement

We believe groups of 6-8 are the best vehicle to institute language and allow the language to become viral within the organization.

The secret to culture change can be boiled to one word:

INTENTIONAL

If you are a leader, you define the culture.

Become intentional. Create objective language. Make it sticky. Introduce it and watch the culture begin to accelerate.

“Do We Want the Same Thing?”

When you look at people on your team or inside your organization do you believe you are on the same page, singing off the same music? Or not?

“After all of this time, I realized that we weren’t on the same page – we aren’t aiming at the same thing,” said an operational leader I recently met.

He went on to say “I just assumed that he was seeing the same spreadsheets as me and would make the necessary changes. I didn’t realize how much control commissions can have on a person or team.”

This leader went on to share about the frustration of being undermined by a person who had short term commissions on his mind rather than the overall greater good of the organization.

Same company, same client, different outlook.

Has that happened to you? If so, here are three things you can do to potentially resolve the situation:

1. Write Down On Paper What You See (without judgement – facts only).

Example: “We have been working with X corp for three years and have lost money; X Corp is difficult to work with and our people despise them – their bad culture is affecting our culture; Joe thinks we should stay engaged and give them 1-2 more years. I think we should fire them and move our assets to a different project that will bring our people new life and focus them on more positive revenue potential.

2. Go to the Source.

Set a meeting with these simple facts, without judgement, to be discussed. Ask the other person to add to the fact sheet, which may help you see that there is more information than you are seeing.

3. Bring In A Third Party.

If the person continues to ignore facts or protect commissions, etc, then bring in someone you both respect to help resolve and face reality together, only after #2 has occurred.

The biggest rifts inside companies come from the passive aggressive behaviour of grown men and women who are afraid to deal with it directly.

It would be great if we could all want the same thing. The reality is that we most likely won’t, so the next best thing is to at least admit it and deal with things in facts. Imagine if our politicians acted this way.

So far as it depends on you, take the initiative to do the right things.