Thoughts are Things

As the year comes to a close, it is a great time for leaders to review progress made and opportunities missed.

Executing a company strategy is one of the most challenging responsibilities leaders face.   A major reason so many businesses struggle to consistently produce desired results is due to a lack of clarity and beliefs in company goals.

There is a big difference between intellectually understanding the company objectives and personally believing the stated goals.

It is important to remember, thoughts are things.  Before any product can be produced or service rendered, it must first be created in someone’s mind.  As that idea is discussed with others, added ideas improve the concept.  Finally actions are taken, beliefs are built and outcomes are attained.  If there is fracture or inconsistent thinking at the individual or team level, the probability of delivering desired results is dramatically reduced.

Here are a few pragmatic suggestions to move ideas from the “information” stage to delivering “transformational” results.

Be Crystal Clear on the Outcome

Clearly communicate what the “perfect” outcome looks like.  Do not assume your direct reports fully understand what actions should be taken.  Further, even if intellectual understanding exists, there is a high probability mastery of the skills to perform the required tasks may be lacking.  With today’s fast changing marketplace, yesterday’s skills may not effectively meet today’s challenges.  Be as specific as possible and then consistently communicate what outcomes look like.

Clarify the WHY  

There is no such thing as the way, only a way to produce desired results.  Everyone has unique skills, abilities and experiences.

Ensuring each team member understands the WHYs behind the WHATs is key.  When people fully integrate their personal WHYs they place energy behind the actions they take.  Said another way, they deepen their engagement to an emotional buy in vs. an intellectual commitment.

Schedule Weekly Progress Updates

Implementing a successful business plan is hard work.  One critical step to ensuring optimal execution is being disciplined about helping people reach their goals.   By scheduling brief one-on-one weekly meetings, a leader can significantly improve the probability of their team’s success.  Through coaching, reprioritizing or removing obstacles, a strong leader can significantly accelerate a team’s progress.

High performance is easy to understand and hard to deliver.  With well-developed outcomes, a “why” behind the “whats” and a disciplined approach to building support, it’s amazing the results that can be achieved.

As you head into next year, make the time to hold future focused conversations with your team members.  The thoughts in their heads will ultimately become next year’s outcomes.   Where appropriate, think different.

Speaking Events

Future Culture 
Building Company Beliefs that Sustain Success

2015 Inland Empire’s Top Workplaces Celebration
Riverside Convention Center
3637 Fifth Street, Riverside, CA 92501

Thursday, December 10, 2015
5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Private Event

Tony has produced extraordinary results in diverse business settings for over 25 years.  As a fractional CEO, COO or VP Sales, Tony collaborates with business owners, CEOs and executive teams in small to mid-market companies.

Core focus areas include:
Strategy Execution
Sales Growth
Leadership Development