Sometimes You Just Have to Let Go
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
You have a great product or service.
It should be easy to market, sell, and grow the organization, shouldn’t it?
Maybe in Easyland, but not so much in your world. Things rarely go as planned and your team doesn’t seem to be aligned on the strategy. In fact, if you took a poll, you would probably find that many on your team are not thinking the same way about your strategy or the implementation of the strategy.
How exactly, are you supposed to implement a successful strategy when everyone has a different idea on how to do it?
In coaching many leaders and teams around the country, I am finding that many organizations have a challenge when it comes to communicating and implementing their strategies. Sometimes it is because top leadership makes decisions in a vacuum and then passes the directives down, missing out on a very important opportunity to get insights and ownership from their team. Other times, the strategy is unclear or lacks sufficient actionable steps for the team to follow.
Here are three keys to a successful implementation of your strategy:
Get input from your influencers and leaders before finalizing your strategy It’s time to stop thinking in a vacuum. You and/or the top leadership team are not the only smart people in your organization. It’s time to move into a new level of leadership. Identify your best leaders and influencers in the organization (they are not always the same). Get them together. Start the conversation regarding your strategy challenges and how implement it when you finalize it. Not only will you get a better strategic plan, but you will be gaining ownership of that plan by the ones who will influence everyone else.
Have the same message communicated to everyone Once you decide on the strategy, develop a simple and complete message to communicate. Everyone on the team - influencers, leaders, leadership team - who will be communicating the strategy must be using the same language and message. If this is not clear to your team it will not be clear to anyone else. I spoke with a mid-level leader from a large manufacturer recently who is in the middle of a strategic implementation change. His entire team of twelve is full of fear. Why? Because the top leadership didn’t communicate why the change was happening or even their thinking around considering the change. They simply came down with the directive, “We’re making changes that will make us more profitable!” This message is usually interpreted by the employees as massive layoffs. Get buy in, communicate to influencers, and keep the same message flowing out.
Release authority and ownership to your leaders who will drive the strategy implementation If you are the kind of leader that likes to have their hand in everything, every project, and every decision, you need to let that one go. The organization will never grow beyond your ability to lead. You have limited time and energy. Let go of the need to “be in charge.” If you want to retain your best employees and leaders, you have to let them do what they do best. Give them the resources they need and then get out of the way. Will they do it like you would? Of course not. That is what makes the organization better overall.
Developing a solid strategy is challenging. Get as much input and buy in from your leaders and influencers at all levels to develop the most appropriate and effective strategic plan. Then craft a singular message that these leaders and influencers will take to their teams. You will see a higher level of effectiveness and team productivity as you implement the plan.
Jeff Orr, a TEDx speaker and expert in Generational Leadership, coaches executives, business owners, and individuals with the tools and skills to lead more effectively, build high-performing teams, and experience true success in their careers and personal lives. As a dynamic and energizing keynote speaker and corporate trainer to Fortune 500 companies, Jeff has helped thousands grow in their leadership to impact their organizations and communities. Jeff engages his audience through humor, real world stories, and a genuine care for the people he speaks to, helping them to build lasting success internally and externally. He is also author of the highly acclaimed book, Succeed In The New Normal. Through his coaching company, InDemand Leadership, Jeff empowers his clients to experience internal growth, which then translates into sustainable external success.