Imagine you are coaching 11 people on a soccer team, and only four of your players know which goal they are aiming toward. Only two of your players care about which goal is yours. Only two players know their position and how it relates to the team overall. Only two players really trust the coaches and team owners. Only two players think they have enough support to play their position as well as they know they can. Most of your players will be aimlessly kicking a ball around the field.
What are your team’s chances of winning this game?
I took this example from best-selling author Stephen Covey’s book The 8th Habit. I recognize this scenario in two ways:
- First, when both of my sons played little league soccer at the ages of five-six. It was almost comedic. None of the kids knew what they were doing or why. They all chased the ball endlessly until it ended up in one of two nets. Often their own. The coach would get increasingly frustrated with the kids and the parents would all be shouting advice to their kids, which often differed from what the coach was telling them. It was chaos!
- Second, I see this in small businesses today. Many workers with the best intentions produce very few concrete results because of poor management and leadership.
This scenario from Covey comes from the following Gallup poll results:
- Only 37% of employees said they clearly understand what their organization is trying to achieve and why.
- Only 1 in 5 was enthusiastic about their team’s and organization’s goals.
- Only 1 in 5 workers said they have a clear “line of sight” between their tasks and their team’s and organization’s goals.
- Only 15% felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals
- Only 20% fully trusted the organization they work for.
Are you looking for a winning strategy for your small business in 2022?
You may consider a new product. Or maybe shifting your resources into a new market. Possibly an acquisition or a merger. How about a new ERP system or sales force automation?
I have a better strategy for you. Focus on your people. They are your most precious asset and are at risk of leaving your company at any moment in this world of “Great Resignation”.
Focus on helping them understand the mission and vision of your company and how their work contributes to both. Make sure they have the tools, the resources, and the support they need to be successful in achieving their goals. Work hard to build trust between you. That high level of trust then becomes a moat protecting your castle from outside invasion.
May your team have every opportunity to have a championship season this year. (See Braves and Bulldogs).