Thursday, January 26, 2012

Define the Win

 If you grew up playing sports, then you are familiar with the thrill of winning.  You were able to look up at the scoreboard at the end of the game and feel the satisfaction of seeing your team come out on top.  Your team scored more run, more touchdowns, more baskets, more goals and victory was defined by bright number proclaiming to the world who the better team was on that day.  As the lights go out on the field, graduation happens, and the real world comes in the form of a career defining the win can be less easy.

There are still just as many team dynamics in place as when you may have played on the field formally or informally as a kid, but victory tends to be unclear.  Ask yourself this question, “Does everyone on my team know what a win looks like for his or her position?” 

Your assistant needs to know what a win looks like.  It may be in terms of productivity or tasks, but your assistant needs to know.  Your direct reports need to know what a win looks like.  If they are not striving for something, they are liable to give themselves to lesser tasks that do not support the overall mission of your organization.  From the point leader of the organization to it’s part-time employees, everyone needs to know what a win looks like for their position.

As a leader, it is often your responsibility to define the win.  Here are some principles to keep in mind as you do.

1. Make it Measureable – There has to be a quantitative or qualitative measurement that can be applied to your team’s work.  It has to be something that they can track.  Like RBI’s in Baseball or Yardage in Football, your team has to measure how their work is going in order to understand how close they are to the win.

2. Find the Finish Line – Help your team understand where the finish line is for certain tasks or projects so that they know what they are working toward.  Help them understand how to know if they have “won” once they reach the finish line.  This will motivate them toward the win in a specific time frame.

3. Celebrate the Success – Celebration has to be the culture in order for the win to mean something for the people pursuing it.  This means pausing for recognition of key team members who fought hard to get to the win.  If there is a celebration of the win, your team is more likely to get back out there and compete again.

Don’t let your team become dispassionate in a winless culture.  Define the win and motivate your people toward it!

No comments:

Post a Comment