You have great people. You have a great product and service. You have a plan, and, man, is it a good one.
And then…crickets! Nothing. Nada. Zilch. What happened? It could be any number of things.
One of them could be you, or more specifically, your leadership. Did you fail your people?
An unscientific experiment
I once conducted an unscientific experiment in a LinkedIn group for leaders. I made it clear, up-front, that in a hypothetical situation, assume that the hypothetical plan was brilliant, but the results were below expectations. I then asked how to influence and improve the team’s behavior in order to get the desired results.
Most of the respondents started with something like, “Obviously the plan was not brilliant…” then went on to talk about how to develop a brilliant plan. Some kindly offered their services to help me get my plan in order – for a fee.
Only one respondent, who identified himself as a retired military general, understood the true question and answered accordingly.
Again, there are many variables, but, often, what it comes down to is leadership.
It’s still a good read
A few years ago I read a book entitled Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud. The very first chapter is called “The People are the Plan.” It’s a simple concept. A lot of leaders say it (or something like it). A lot of them don’t mean it (or know what it means).
As Dr. Cloud states, there is rarely, if ever, one “right” way to do something. There are usually several “right” ways to do something. Several ways that will/can work, and as the leader, the job is to own the vision, set the path, and get the job done “through people doing what it takes to make it happen.” Whichever “right” way you have selected.
3 pillars of behavior management
We often talk about how the consumers of today don’t just want a great product or service, they want a great experience. The same is true of employees. If they have a great employment experience, the plan is much more likely to succeed.
In my book, Business is ART, I define 3 areas a leader should focus on in order to drive the kind of team behaviors necessary for accomplishing the goals and objectives set out in the plan. I call these the 3 pillars of behavior management and they are as follows:
- Desire – What does the employee or team member desire?
- Emotion – What gets the employee or team member to feel a positive emotion about whatever it is you hope to accomplish?
- Knowledge – What does the employee or team member know (about the goals, objectives, themselves, other team members…and the leader)
Focus on these 3 pillars ==> Create a great experience ==> Improve the odds of success