3 Strands LEADERSHIP & Follow-up to W.I.N.

More than 100 studies confirm 80% or more of employees are NOT fully engaged (Tony Schwartz, Harvard Business Review, 9/19/2011).  They are not doing their best.

Think about that for a moment...  If only 20% of your team is trying their hardest to win in the sport you are playing - baseball, basketball, soccer, football, water polo... that is only 2 out of 10 of your players are giving it everything they've got...  then how well will your team perform against the competition?

Your team will do poorly.  The same goes for your business. 

Gallup studies confirm world class companies with full engaged employees have about a 5:1 advantage over average companies and grow 2.6X faster. 

I suggest the difference is 3strands LEADERSHIP.  The inspiration behind this “3strands” is from Ecclesiastes 4:12, which says:

“Though one may be overpowered and two can defend themselves, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The first strand of 3strands LEADERSHIP is Systematic Power.  How well you demonstrate Systematic Power separates people with leadership attributes vs. people with true leadership skills. 

The core leadership systems are how you hire, manage, develop, and retain top performing people on your team.  Defining and demonstrating Systematic Power enables you to be consistent role model who builds trust, and inspires greatness.

The second strand of 3strands LEADERSHIP is Meaningful Work.  Systems without meaning have no lasting value.  GREAT Leaders create self-motivating work environments for each individual of their team that link career tasks to their personal fulfillment.  This is the most important motivator of all - the unique personal satisfaction each employee gains from achieving results. 

The foundation of Meaningful Work for leaders is how you define and demonstrate your company culture cornerstones: 

  • Mission With A Purpose (mission statement - why you are in business)
  • Vision Motivating a Future (vision statement - where you are going as an organization)
  • Non-Negotiable Values (3-10 statements with behavioral examples - how you do business)
  • Accountability For Consistency (where most companies fail - living out their company culture cornerstones)

The third and final strand holds the other two together.  It is Sincere Gratitude.  This is how you confirm you value each team member's contribution in ways that they appreciate.  Tossing them a Starbucks card may just insult them.  You need to recognize them and reinforce they are important to your team based on their personal preferences. 

Reminder:  People do not remember what you say as much as they remember how you make them feel.

A key part of how you live out your 3strands LEADERSHIP is defining clear, measurable T.A.R.G.E.T. goals and then following-up to achieve superior results:

  • Be a role model of 3strands LEADERSHIP systems
  • Define and achieve T.A.R.G.E.T. goals
  • Stop and revive yourself, and renew your focus in Sanctuary
  • Consistently define and achieve a Weekly W.I.N.

Download my latest T.A.R.G.E.T. Goals Guide for Employees here. 

Weekly W.I.N.

"W.I.N." stands for What's Important Now?  I got it from Solid Networks of Modesto, California and use it with their permission. 

Each week take a Sanctuary break for self accountability.  Did you achieve what you set out to do this past week?  What are your very top priorities this upcoming week?  (There is more, but these steps are critical to achieving a Weekly WIN and annual TARGET goals.)

Sanctuary time is uninterrupted time.  Email and instant messaging is off.  No interruptions.  No phone calls.  Just focus your mind to work on your business, not in it.

Your Weekly WIN are the three most important milestones or tasks you must complete during the upcoming week to move closer to achieving your annual goals.  (Never define more than three strands so you stay focused on what is truly most important.)

Individually these activities may not seem very important, but collectively they are crucial small steps towards achieving meaningful work each year.  Over time the collection of these three weekly activities also protect us from failure or ongoing mistakes, systematically build a fortress of success, and strengthen our company's defense against competitors and anyone who might question our productivity

Some key thoughts:

  1. The discipline of weekly achieving a Weekly WIN is a strong climbing “rope” (3strands LEADERSHIP) to reach your vision of success (whatever you have defined success to be).
  2. Your Weekly WIN should be listed in order of priority.
  3. You should review your Weekly WIN daily.  For your direct reports, we suggest you review their status either daily or on Tuesday (day 2) and Thursday (day 4) of each week for accountability.

Here is an example of a Weekly WIN:

Week of May 10, 2015

  • Rehearse No Drama Charm School soft skill training presentation
  • Complete final two Strategic Plans for my team
  • Track work in our PSA (1) Enter all time;  (2)Confirm the Smith project process is entered correctly;  (3) Confirm contacts in our PSA are our primary Client contacts

Week of May 3, 2015

  • Enter time for all of my work in our PSA software - COMPLETE
  • Get Ralph to complete all of his Strategic Plans this week - COMPLETE
  • Complete final edits to all current support documents - COMPLETE

One approach to managing the Weekly WIN's of your team...

Require your people to email their draft Weekly WIN, or post it on a common site like Basecamp or a ticket in your PSA, at least one day before you meet for your weekly 1:1.  This gives you time to review their key objectives for the week and prepare valuable feedback.  If they are holding themselves accountable and no manager is involved, then encourage them to follow this same process on their own, of course without the email.

Require that you confirm their Weekly WIN.  You might suggest or even require changes such as rewording or shifting their order of priority, but that is okay.  Share your insights and confirm they are focused on what is most important.

Require them to reserve time in their calendar to achieve their Weekly WIN.  These event entries protect time in their schedule to do the work, and allow them to balance this work throughout the week rather than rushing to complete the work at the last minute, or allowing unexpected needs to be overwhelmoing.