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Drive 65 and Succeed with Team Process Goals
In virtually any field, you can succeed with your team if you focus on group process goals and “Drive 65.” Let me explain…
There are more than a few lessons that driving offers leaders.
First, dogs only bark at moving cars – if you aren’t doing anything, you won’t draw any attention or ridicule from the barkers and tire chasers in your industry.
Second, headlights are only blinding in the dark. Innovative ideas are always welcome in the light of strong organizations, but often paralyzing to those comfortable in the darkness of contentment.
But this third lesson is even more important for finding success…
Think “Drive 65,” and you will succeed with process goals.
Road trips always take longer when I travel with my family. But it is always more interesting, entertaining, and memorable when I am with them instead of driving alone.
When my family would pile into our Dodge Durango for a road trip, at least one of our kids would invariably ask “how long until we get there?”
My stock answer would be “That depends on you guys!”
Sometimes they would want to stop for snacks. Sometimes we would need to stop for restroom breaks. The destination wouldn’t change, but sometimes we had to adjust our route to see or do something unexpected along the way that added time to our journey…
When we weren’t focused on the destination or getting to the next checkpoint on our map, it was much easier to get distracted by billboards or gas stations or other attractions.
And it occurred to me that our road trips were much like the journey of any team.
We always had a destination. Every great team starts with a compelling common goal.
But, as the “family leader,” I needed to do a better job of selling the vision of our destination – or at least the next checkpoint on our map - if I wanted them to be excited enough about it to forego the superfluous stops we often made.
Each of our family members in the vehicle either contributed to our getting there “on time and under budget,” or they were part of the reason that we would arrive much later than planned and with a little less in our bank account.
As a team leader, your first job is to decide on a destination and get the right people on your “team bus.” But unlike a family road trip or vacation, where the consequences of delays or budget or focus on a destination are usually insignificant, your organization’s success depends on the interactions and contributions of the people on your “team bus.”
Reaching your destination depends on their focused contributions and cohesive efforts.
So to get to your destination, I encourage you to “Drive 65.”
Your destination – your corporate or organizational vision - is likely a good distance from where you are now. Vision looks five years or so into the future to give you a desired destination, defines your values, and helps shape your decisions.
But while it is important to keep that vision in mind, you need to focus on the process goals that will get you there! Process goals are the “next step” portion of your overall team development plan.
If you destination “vision” is a five year goal, your main focus should be on a sixty day goal that will take you that “next step” closer to what you eventually want to accomplish.
Your job as a team leader is to put a picture of your destination somewhere that everyone can see it. Let it serve as a motivational reminder of why they are on the bus.
But your immediate job as a team leader is to identify WHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE IN THE NEXT SIXTY DAYS that will have the greatest impact on moving you closer to that five year destination you envision.
And that is not always easy.
Steve Jobs was unpopular at Apple when he first returned after his absence because he cancelled a number of very interesting projects that Apple employees had begun. In Job’s vision, those efforts were not contributing to the “team bus” reaching his defined corporate destination. So he drove the bus where it needed to go by driving his people to give their attention to projects that would have the greatest impact on moving Apple closer to that vision.
Are your people being distracted from your vision? See the squirrel?
Many times your attention is diverted from the long term goal if there is no sixty day goal to focus on as that “next step.” Life, or entertainments, or other things always pop up and can steal away your team’s enthusiasm and focus.
Keep your five year vision in front of your team, and recognize that your sixty day goals are where the majority of your energy and efforts need to be invested.
You need to “drive” your team to remain laser-focused on that next sixty day goal. Check that item off the list, and celebrate small victories along the way instead of waiting to share praise or recognition for their efforts until the end of the journey.
But be very aware of the power of process goals when you “Drive 65.”
Teamwork is best defined as “the coordinated activities of a cohesive group who contribute diverse skills and resources to accomplish a compelling common goal.”
To accomplish that long term vision goal and reach your desired destination, as a leader it is your job to keep your team focused on completing the next step.
Yes, you can accomplish a number of things as an individual – but there are significantly more destinations you will not be able to reach on your own.
Nobody climbs Mount Everest by themselves.
A team provides the skills and relationships that make a lengthy journey both possible and worthwhile. It is true that “If you want to go fast, go alone – if you want to go far, travel with a TEAM.” As a leader, your ability to “Drive 65” and influence people to buy into a five year vision while focusing efforts on sixty day process goals will be the key to reaching your destination.
***And, thanks to Mike Rogers for sharing this blog post with his audience at the Teamwork and Leadership Blog - check it out for terrific information on leadership and team concepts.