Beyond Strategies, Plans & Excuses

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Have you ever developed a plan you didn’t implement or set a goal you didn’t achieve? I know, that’s a silly question. Of course we all have. Contrary to what I learned in business school, having a strong strategy and a great plan is not the primary factor in achieving our goals.

And on the other end of the spectrum a poor strategy and weak plan is not the reason most businesses fail.What I’ve learned since I left business school (almost 30 years ago) is that what it really takes to be successful is commitment.

To be successful in business not only do we have to be committed – we also have to be able to gain commitment from others including our staff. That’s why I’m so excited about a new program, The Five Behaviors Of A Cohesive TeamTM.

If you would like to transform your work group into a team and reap the rewards of doing so I encourage you to read the article below and explore how The Five Behaviors Of A Cohesive Team can help you do that.

You can find out more about the program and locate a product briefing near you here.What would your reaction be if I were to tell you that the level of your success in business – and in life for that matter – is not primarily dependent on how strong your strategy is, how great a plan you have, how smart, talented or good looking you are, what you know, who you know or even how hard you work?It’s true. We don’t fail to achieve our goals because we have a poor strategy or a weak plan.

We fail to achieve our goals because our strategies and plans don’t get implemented. We fail to execute.There are all kinds of reasons plans don’t get implemented. Here are a few of the most common ones that I hear. There’s not enough time.

There’s no budget for it. My staff keeps dropping the ball. And what I’m going to tell you is those are excuses. If you are telling yourself that about a goal or vision you have you are telling yourself a lie!!!
The real reason that we don’t implement our plans and realize our goals is that we don’t truly commit to the goal or vision and we fail to get the commitment of those we need to support us.  Without true commitment we don’t take action or we take it half-heartedly.
The first step then to achieving your goals and realizing your vision is to truly commit to the journey and to gain the commitment of those whose support and help you need. Very few goals are acheived along – especially in business. We generally need the support and “buy-in” of our staff. Vendors and especially of our clients.
Here are three very specific things you can do to increase commitment – yours and others.
1. Create a Compelling Vision
A vision is the image of what life will be like once you have achieved your goal. it is what keeps you going when you encounter barriers. When you lack a compelling vision for your business (or your life) it isi like driving on a winding mountain road in thick, dense fog. You have your foot on the brake most of the time, you are hesitant to take action and it’s not a lot of fun.
Now imagine the sun comes out. You put your foot on the gas, navigate the curves with confidence and enjoy the journey. A compelling vision clears awry the fog surrounding your business so you and your team can take action with confidence.
There are eight components to a compelling vision. If you want to discover these eight components and begin the process of developing a compelling Vision you can download a worksheet to walk you through the process here.
2. Take a Big Gulp Action
The second thing you can do to increase commitment – yours and others – is to take a “Big Gulp” action. A Big Gulp action is an action that even the thought causes you to gasp and then right after you take it you say, “Holy cow what did I just do?” And you probably don’t say cow!
A Big Gulp action shows you, others (and the Universe) that you are serious – that you are committed.

It is also what gives you the oomph you need to break free of that whirlpool that is keeping you stuck going round and round in circles. It’s what gives you the energy to pop out of the whirlpool and up onto the banks so you can look at the situation from a different perspective, navigate the log jam of barriers (and excuses), get buy-in from your staff and develop a plan and strategy that you and your team can and will implement.
3. Get Buy-In From Your Team
Without leveraging the support and buy-in of others, there is only so far your business can go – and in most cases it’s just not all that far.

You want more than buy in at a task level. You want emotional buy in as well – you want engagement to really get the best results. Ordering people to do things even in situations where you have the authority to do so just doesn’t work over the long run. They may comply for a while – do enough to get by – but you will never have as good an outcome ordering someone to do something as you will if they are truly committed.
In his best-selling book, Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni advocates that to gain the commitment of your staff you must first have trust and allow for passionate debate and discussions – what Lencioni calls healthy conflict. According to Lencioni trust and healthy conflict lead to commitment and from commitment follow accountability and results.
Lencioni’s model is simple. Implementation takes a little work and a lot of focus. The outcome is a competitive advantage that is hard to match. If you believe your business would benefit from your staff being even a little more committed I encourage you to explore how you can develop The Five Behaviors Of A Cohesive TeamTM.
Remember, our level of success is not primarily determined by a strong strategy or a great plan.  it i s determined by how committed we are and how well we can engage the commitment of others to the Vision that we have.
Want more tips and resources to help you dissolve barriers to business success by unlocking the potential of your people and harnessing the power of teamwork? Sign-up to receive our monthly Blog post.

“The Five Behaviors Of A Cohesive Team is a trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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