Align Actions with the Wildly Important Goals

 

Are the efforts of your team members moving your goals forward? How can you make it easier for them to do so?
 
If a goal is elevated to WIG status, it’s vital to the team’s and the organization’s survival or growth. That also means every goal your team is trying to realize can’t be a WIG, as that dilutes the significance and commitment to marshal a heightened level of focus, time, resources and attention.
 
Meaningful change comes from the inside out. It has to start with you as the leader, committing to and then enacting new behaviors. When you change your behavior, others will see your commitment to accomplishing the WIG. Remember to choose a change in behavior that’s at the same level you want to see in your team members, unless your role is more removed or narrowly defined. A Chief Marketing Officer is likely to engage with a WIG at a very different level than a Digital Content Manager or Social Media Director. The commonality is new and better behaviors on display for all to see.
 
Here are a few specific things you can do to keep your actions aligned with your WIGs (drawn from the book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution):
  • Focus your finest efforts on the one or two goals that will make the greatest impact (rather than giving mediocre effort to dozens of goals).
  • Choose the battles that win the war. It’s easy to generate a long list of to-do items in support of your WIGs. Rather, ask, “What are the fewest number of battles necessary to win this war?” Focus your attention on the critical items that will get you the victory.
  • Veto but don’t dictate. Allow your leaders and team members to define the actions that will support your WIGs. Your role is to bring clarity; the leaders below you will bring engagement (if you allow them to).
  • Have a finish line in the form of From X to Y by When. In order to ensure your actions are aligned to your WIG, you must have a clearly measurable result and date by which the result must be achieved. Although we addressed this concept in a previous challenge, it bears repeating, based on its proven display for all to see.
Leaders who successfully align their actions to their WIGs do more than trumpet a new motivational kick-off — they make fundamental shifts in how they plan their weeks and days and how they staff and use resources.

FROM MESS TO SUCCESS: ALIGN ACTIONS WITH THE WILDLY IMPORTANT GOALS

  • With your team, brainstorm specific behaviors that will help them accomplish your Wildly Important Goals.
  • To achieve new and different results, everyone will likely need to learn something new and do something different. Show the courage to ask your team members to identify any new behaviors they think you should implement to progress the WIG. This may help them be more receptive to suggestions you make regarding their behaviors.
  • Lead out on your own new and better behavior and use it to coach, not shame, others.
  • Ensure team players have the big-picture perspective, not only a myopic view of just their part.

For more on this tip, watch this short clip from Scott Miler, author of Management Mess to Leadership Success.

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Go from a management mess to a leadership success. Join Scott Miller for a live webcast and learn more about the 30 challenges that all leaders face. 

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