Your ability to clearly articulate your strategic priorities depends on understanding why you’re here and what you’re trying to accomplish. That’s all that really matters in the work environment. To create a motivated, empowered team, each member has to care about where they’re going and why they should bother. Invite your employees to go on a mission with you, keeping these things in mind:
1. Teach the value of the organization’s priorities. Help your team members understand why your strategic priorities are important, whether at the team, department, division, or company level.
2. Show them why what they do matters. To align team effort with the company’s needs and make team members more willing to execute your strategy on the fly, emphasize how their efforts fit within the overall scheme designed to move the organization forward. Spell out why their success and productivity matter to you and the company—and explain the consequences of failure.
3. Demonstrate why what they want matters. Acknowledge that the realignment effort may well mean more work for them, at least in the short term. But at the same time, they’ll have more freedom to achieve than they ever have before.
4. Emphasize the positive. The whole “Execution IS the Strategy” concept allows you and your team to grab the ball on the bounce and immediately drive toward the end zone, without getting tangled up in the web of a long-term plan that’s outdated the instant it’s published.
5. Accept the new reality of leadership. Smart leaders partner and collaborate with their team members, outlining the vision, facilitating their work, and urging them on. Sculpt the plan and polish it up brightly, laying out the deadlines and the broad outlines before giving team members the ball and letting them run with it.
Your team won’t care about much more than their paychecks unless you inspire them otherwise. If you can get them sincerely interested in achieving the organization’s goals, then come the end of the quarter, you might just make it to your industry’s equivalent of the Super Bowl.