Does your team share your vision? How well equipped are you as a leader in understanding your role in achieving that vision?
Every leader and business owner have a vision of who they want to be, what they want their business to achieve and how they want to conduct their business. This vision could be the destination for a few or could be the starting point of a bigger goal for some. Many leaders do an excellent job of communicating this to their team such that the entire team is truly aligned to THE objective.
Somewhere along the way, many organizations begin falling short of their objectives and the vision starts to look like an unattainable goal. For a well-oiled team and level headed leadership, this would be time to go back to the drawing board and identify the root causes for the lag. But for many others, this would just result in a chaotic time where short term actions take over actual precedence and begins to create a facade over the real goal.
As a company Wild Creek has constantly been learning from others and evolving and we have had the privilege and opportunity of working with several wonderful leaders who have set aspirational goals for themselves and the organization(s) they lead. Whilst in some instances, the brilliant leader and his/her team forged through and successfully attained their goals, in a few others the entire vision process was completely muddled down the ladder leading to chaos, with no clarity for why someone was doing something.
In Wild Creek, we have always taken pride in ourselves as being a digital partner for companies and over time, our experience has taught us to always dig deeper into the business to understand the company’s goals and objectives before accepting any project. One of my experiences showed me how crucial leadership vision communication is and the responsibility of the leader, which ironically begins only after sharing the vision with his/her team.
Instance: Where communication plays a critical role in determining performance
In the early part of 2019, Wild Creek was contracted to be a digital partner for a prominent learning and development company. The company was a market leader for several years, however over time, they had dropped down in their rankings. Unlike many of their competitors, this company was a late entrant to marketing in the digital space. Nevertheless, they tackled the bull by the horns and set up a dedicated 4-member team to build their digital visibility. Despite quite a bit of investment and effort, they failed to see any progress. This is when Wild Creek came into the picture to front-end their digital operations. Once we were aboard, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work – to understand what was going on.
As with all instances, the first thing that we did was to identify and understand the company’s vision. The next thing was to go through the plan of action the digital team had created. What we found was very surprising – the plan of action had no co-relation to the vision and had no means to reach there. After digging some more, we understood that while the leadership team had some very lofty aspirations, they fundamentally failed in communicating that to the team members and also failed to help them understand and connect with the vision. We closed the above project by designing a strong strategy in line with the vision, that would now be executed by the dedicated team with much more gusto and clarity than before.
Unless team members understand and internalize where the organization is heading, how it plans to go there and how it should be positioned, no amount of competence, investment and effort would take the company there, especially in the digital space. Therefore, it is not just the competence of the employees that’s to be questioned always, sometimes, it goes a bit higher too!
Clearly, defining a vision and communicating it with the team is one aspect. However, ensuring that as a leader understanding the role in effectively getting the organization to achieve that goal is a big challenge that no one seems to have understood just yet.
I would like to end this with this wonderful quote by Babe Ruth that summarizes it all:
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth