Who knows your secret evil plan, aka strategy?

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Symptoms: Late night worry, misunderstandings, feelings of mis-trust, lack of confidence in subordinates, signs of lack of respect, increase in “personality” fires, Dilbert-like environment.

Possible Cause: Your key team members don’t understand your plan for achieving your goals.

I’m talking about something more than the strategy document or PowerPoint deck. It’s a bit more subtle than that.

How about those drivers deep inside that determine your behavior? Can you identify them? What causes you to notice an opportunity in a meeting? Why do you decide to include an individual from an often forgotten department in a meeting? What prompts you to start up a conversation with a colleague from a different division?

It’s your deep understanding of what you need to do to get your agenda moving through the organization. It comes naturally to you. However, if you’re feeling all alone in this journey and frustrated that the team isn’t helping, the likely cause is that they just don’t understand the underlying plan as well as you do.

Some remedies:

  • Go off script. When presenting the strategy and goals, go beyond the bullets. Explain the background. It doesn’t go without saying. Explain what you were thinking. What didn’t you put in the presentation. Show how your brain works. People want to know this.
  • Talk scenarios. In order to get the behaviors you want, explore the scenarios that everyone will encounter and work through how to act and react in those likely situations. This helps articulate your direction in a very explicit way. When he says…, you say… This gets x point across, which sets up y discussion, which is tied to our abc initiative.
  • Go to dinner. My experience is that when you get too big to just hang out and talk with the boss, the organization starts to falter. I say dinner because in a former championship team one of the keys was that we traveled a lot and had the opportunity regularly to go to dinner with the boss. The learning that occurred in those more casual conversations were invaluable to making the consistent and right decisions when the boss wasn’t around. It’s all about the conversations. A very important tool you shouldn’t ignore.

Photo credit: pshutterbug

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On June 24, 2014
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