By David Bowman
It’s the responsibility of the leadership team to create Vision, Traction, and Healthy within their organization. First, each team member’s job is to ensure that they are absolutely on the same page with where the organization is going and how they intend to get there. Next, they have to ensure that the organization is disciplined and accountable for executing on that plan. Finally, they need to make sure that there is complete transparency on any issue, person, situation, or idea that needs to be dealt with in order to move the organization forward. Before they can share their vision with the rest of the organization, the leadership team has to demonstrate expertise in creating Vision, Traction, and Healthy on their team.
In order to help realize the power of Vision, Traction, and Healthy, a leader begins to understand that their central role is to come together as a team. Often, by the time one rises to a position of leadership in an organization, they have achieved their position due to their ability to perform as an individual not working as a true equal on a strong team. The competitiveness that helps distinguish performers from their peers within an organization is not productive when the focus becomes moving the organization forward as a team. Working on a team requires a different skill set than individual productivity and competitiveness.
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At some point in each leadership team’s EOS® journey, I will ask them two questions. First, I will ask, “What is the purpose of a leadership team in a publicly-traded company?” To this, the team clearly understands that purpose is to maximize returns to shareholder equity. The second question is: “What is the purpose of a leadership team in a privately held company?” Many leaders in a privately held company have not really considered this question, but the reality is that it’s the same answer. The only difference is the number of shareholders.
If the leadership team is focused on “one-upping” each other with internal competition, they are diverging from doing what is in the best interest of the organization. Competition cuts teams off from abundance, cooperation, communication, and creativity. Instead of these positive things, it creates politics, a lack of willingness to be vulnerable, and an inability to be open and honest. The skills that got individual leaders to be on a leadership team, are not the same skills that will move an entire organization forward.
How can a leadership team fix this competitive nature and start achieving positive results? There are five leadership skills that a team must master in order to change this framing:
- Simplify – The team must truly understand the organization in its most basic form.
- Elevate – The team must be able to work “on” the organization by elevating their work.
- Predict – The team must be on the same page with what they think the future brings in both the short and long-term.
- Short-term – Less than 90 days.
- Long-term – 90 days and longer.
- Systemize – The team must be able to control the Core Processes or outputs of the organization.
- Structure – The team must be able to depict the most basic form of how all the work gets done.
Every component, tool, and skill in EOS is designed to teach and reinforce these five leadership skills. However, the skills are only useful if applied to the entire team. These skills are not just for the individual superstars that often make up a leadership team. The leadership team has to work together to implement these five leadership skills.
- Download a free chapter of Traction® by Gino Wickman.
- Check out this blog post on improving accountability.