Giving clear direction is not about telling people what to do or how to do it. Instead it’s about Creating an Opening. You’ve heard the adage “nature abhors a vacuum”. That vacuum – that opening must be filled. You can best do this by creating a compelling vision of where you’re going, why it’s important, and how you’ll get there.
A simple way to create a compelling vision is to answer 8 questions and organize them on a 2-page document, the Vision/Traction Organizer:
- Core Values – the characteristics, attributes and behaviors that you value in people. Surround yourself with the Right People who share your values to help you build a great culture;
- Core Focus – define your organization’s sweet spot – what you love to do and are best at doing;
- 10-Year Target – your organization’s number one goal, to inspire and motivate people;
- Marketing Strategy – define the ideal customers or clients that are most likely to get value from what you do and the message that will help you attract them. You can’t be, nor should you want to be, everything to everybody.
- 3 Year Picture – what your organization will look like 3 short years from now on your way to the 10-Year Target.
- 1 Year Plan – your financial objectives and goals for fiscal year
- Rocks – your key priorities for the next quarter that will ensure that your financial objectives and goals are met.
- Issues – the obstacles, barriers, ideas or opportunities that you must address in the future
After creating the opening through a compelling vision, you must communicate it often until it is shared by all. This is different than shared with all. When it is shared by all, people see it clearly. How many times have you asked someone, “Do you see what I’m saying?”
Can you answer “yes” to the statement, “I am giving clear direction?” If you’ve answered “no”, do you know what you must do to be able to answer “yes”?