I grew up in Canberra, have family there and do some work there. As a result, I’m a pretty frequent user of Canberra airport. Typically I come in and out of the airport once a month and every time find it a frustrating experience. Why? A lack of signage to guide you. It’s the worst airport I’ve experienced when it comes to signage.
At every other airport when you come out of the gate you don’t have to look too hard to see a sign guiding you to the exit. Not in Canberra. Must be classified information! I still struggle to remember where the exit is and see many other travellers experiencing what I experience – they feel a bit lost, or even stressed because they don’t know where to go.
Is your firm like Canberra airport? Nothing that shows your team where the firm is going?
One of my favourite references on leadership is Extraordinary Leadership in Australia and New Zealand by James Kouzes, Barry Posner and Michael Bunting. Here is a quote from that which I think summarises well the value of providing clear direction for your team members:
“ ..the two most important things a leader can do to drive engagement are ‘communicate and reinforce with employees the organisation’s vision and values (and ensure that day-to-day managerial behaviours, actions and decisions are consistent with the core organisational values’).
Our research documents that effective leadership is not simply about the leader having a vision – it’s about inspiring a shared vision, one that all team members clearly understand, buy into and feel a part of. No matter how accurate and compelling a leader’s vision is, if there isn’t consensus and buy-in by the people doing the work, that vision will not be realised.
People want, first of all, reliable information on where the company (program, project, product or team) is going. And they want to understand how what they are doing fits into the big picture.”
Have you inspired a shared vision with your team?
Have you consistently communicated where the firm is heading and how each team members fits into that?
If not, now would be a great time to start. As we head into the final quarter of FY22 take some time to do some thinking and planning for your firm. Update your vision and share it with the team and even better, get them involved in building it.