I have had great teams working for me over the last 27 years. Many of our facilitators work remotely and reinforcing the mission and values is a critical part of my job. Sometimes I don't realize what is obvious to me is not obvious to my team. Aligning to our mission - Fun, Fast, Flexible and Measurable Learning- is easy to do on the surface and no one would argue with our values- Learning, Customer, Family, Philanthropy. Here's an example of how things can slip: When one of our facilitators posted about really difficult travel on the way to a class, I was concerned that their exhaustion and stress were going to impact the customer experience. As a leader, I must find a way to acknowledge the difficulty of the situation and reinforce that none of this changes our mission and values. A quick note to empathize and ask if we can help make their classroom day easier can help.
Another example is joking about customers in the office. This has to be addressed as inconsistent with the mission and values. When I personally joke about a customer or partner, it is my responsibility to point out that I have made a mistake as well. Polishing the edges of the "Chemistry" critically impacts the team. We value what we measure. Our two-day RMA Leadership Simulation creates a safe practice field to build this chemistry and practice reinforcement. The mission and values are the magic sauce to help you prioritize the project work into an actionable portfolio. If you and your team can't rattle them off quickly, you don't have them.
Leaders Demand and Confront
This is one of the most important contracts we have in the CEO group I am part of. It is our responsibility to encourage, and equally as important, to hold each other accountable through neutral confrontation. This doesn't mean yelling or conflict, but it does mean pointing out behaviors to each other that are unseen. It hurts to receive this feedback and it makes us better. As leaders, it is tempting to sugar coat and minimize feedback then get angry when it didn't take. Like Coach Wooden in July's newsletter, learn to scold / reconstruct. Point out what is being done incorrectly, then point out how to do it correctly. If you have ever been on a high performing team, it was built on trust created through shared confrontation. We must hold each other accountable. Demanding not demeaning. In ourPower of You workshop, there is a powerful exercise for leaders to practice difficult conversations with each other before they go live with their staff member.