I was recently asked to talk to a round table of executives about what is important in growing organizations. I elected to talk about the need for a Leadership Framework, as I believe it is the foundation of success.
Taken in a different context, if an individual wants to grow to become a great orator, he/she will need to have a communications framework assimilated in three steps:
- learn the basic of a given language (the words, the grammar rules, sentence construction),
- apply the previous learning to master the language (reading, writing, verb conjugation, synonyms, antonyms, style, story telling, organization thoughts)
- apply the previous learning to develop interesting subjects that will shaping understanding of audiences, mold their beliefs, impact their own thoughts.
Most organizations I visit continue to look like a Tower of Babel. A great number of people trying to achieve a common goal (hopefully one God would not despise) yet speaking a different language and as a result employees spend 51% of their time on activities not directly related to their organization's priorities, which causes 90% of well articulated strategies fail to be successfully executed.
I recall vividly the feeling of having my entire organization in complete harmony, completely aligned, pulling all in the same direction, rowing in complete synchronization, achieving plans and results seemingly effortlessly. How did it become this way? How was it that we had the right plan, the right team, the unbelievable ability to execute?
I humbly submit that the vision, the mission, the plan, the strategies, the culture, the values, the team, how teams were built and organized, the execution framework, the sales model, the genuine care for stakeholders, all of the above and more, were of the highest coherence, which required that they were clearly articulated, which required that every sentence, every word were 100% clear and understood.
So I advocate every leader must do the following three things:
- Teach the basic leadership language to your team. What does the words mean (mission, vision, strategy, plan, BHAG, etc.) and why they are important.
- With the words understood, give them meaning and build your vision, your mission, your plan, your strategies, your culture, …
- Master the effective use of the leadership language to deliver an organization in complete harmony, completely aligned, pulling all in the same direction, rowing in complete synchronization, achieving plans and results seemingly effortlessly.