Have you ever observed the surge of energy, the passion of a group that unites around a common cause? Whether it is the closure of a neighbourhood school, response to a disaster, planning a trip, or the launch of a new product, people have the ability to come together and make things happen when they believe in the cause.
What needs to happen in businesses to make people unify in that same way? What can leaders do to inspire and create that level of energy?
Inspiring involvement requires a vision. That vision should be turned into a realistic goal. It is great to dream but if it cannot be realized within a set time frame, it is not a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon,Realistic and Target Dated).
Take the vision and make it real in the eyes of those who have to make it happen. If they cannot see what you want to achieve, it is unlikely to happen. When Walt Disney had the dream of building Disneyland on the West coast, he was unable to make potential financiers see the vision and they refused to support his ideas. Subsequently, he used his imagination, and sold the idea to the new medium of television. The rest is history.
Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Too many organizations today set company goals and push them down the organization without ensuring proper buy-in:
- Keep teams in the loop every step of the way
- Celebrate successes and brainstorm how to overcome the challenges
- Create the vision and execute it together as a team
Leaders do not have all the answers, nor do they need to. That is the value of a team.
Measure results in small increments. Share the small wins with the team. There is little value in setting a goal with a deadline that is a year out and expecting people to remain excited, if none of the successful steps along the way are measured and reported.
Evaluate the results. Did the action steps get the desired results? If not, make some changes as soon as it is clear that the project is off track. If it is on track continue.
Celebrate successes. This step is often missed. If you want people who are inspired, engaged and unified then ensure there is lots of opportunity to celebrate. Celebration does not necessarily mean a big party; it can be as simple as providing feedback and discussing how well people performed. A simple thank-you may suffice.