With so much going on in our companies today, our employees have a large number of competing priorities as they do their daily tasks. What is most important? What should they focus on first?
Unfortunately, for too many employees at too many companies, the answers to these questions are uncertain, even unknown.
It is our job as managers to strip away that uncertainty by being crystal clear about what are the most important goals and priorities for our teams.
This clarity comes about by:
1. Clearly and simply stating priorities and then repeating these priorities consistently as if they were a mantra.
2. Leading by example in spending the most time and effort on these top priorities.
3. Eliminating or simplifying less important tasks and priorities, allowing the team the time to focus on the top priorities.
4. Avoiding the mixed messages and “programs of the month” that create competing priorities and blur the focus in our employees’ minds.
The objective is to ensure that the most important goals and priorities remain front of mind and are the focus of our employees’ efforts each and every day. When each member of our team is focused on the most important priorities in our business, we have the alignment required for great business success.
Marcus Buckingham, the author of The One Thing You Need to Know: … About Great Managing, Great Leading and Sustained Individual Success, says it well: “Effective leaders don’t have to be passionate. They don’t have to be charming. They don’t have to be brilliant. … They don’t have to be great speakers. What they must be is clear.”