“Begin with the end in mind,” says Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It is an example of mindset – focus on what is to be accomplished – the end goal – and sticking to it. But successful execution of a strategy goes beyond the mindset of the leader(s). Gaining an understanding of the mindset of the entire team helps to identify the potential for alignment within the organization, which translates into both motivation and commitment to goals.
When committing to a strategy, the likelihood of success increases when most of your people (it’s unlikely we ever get 100%) have the right mindset. Putting first things first, which is another important habit from Covey’s breakthrough book, goes beyond the what to include the why. What is it that the organization hopes to achieve and does that feel right to those who are expected to bring it to reality? As leaders, we are reminded to keep our eye on the WIIFMs (what’s in it for me) of others.
No company has ever been criticized for focusing too much on its people. We all recognize that a business is only as good as those who work there. It is worth considering why some businesses are characterized by highly engaged, motivated individuals with the right mindset while many others are dealing with poorly engaged teams and high turnover. Here are ways to ensure your organization has engaged teams with the right mindset:
- Have a clear, concise, and well communicated strategy and review it regularly
- Commit to increasing leadership skills. It’s an area with one of highest returns on investment
- Have a growth model that works. Businesses are either growing or they are going backwards; there is no in-between
- Use job-fit tools to objectively assess candidates when hiring and developing employees
- Gauge employee satisfaction and engagement regularly and consider that data when developing your strategic goals
- Have a structured coaching program throughout the organization to ensure continual employee feedback and growth
A culture with the right mindset takes time to create, but it is essential to weathering the inevitable rough patches. There is wisdom in the old saying: The best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago; the second-best time is today. The sooner we commit to creating the right mindset in our organizations the more likely we are to achieve successful strategic outcomes.