What would it look like if every person within your company knew if and how they were winning or losing in your organization without having to be told by management?…

I have worked for several different people with very different leadership and management styles, each possessing their own strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of the different styles of leadership and our opinions about their validity or benefits I want to look at how every person can benefit from this principal of defining the win.

As I think back to some of the first positions I ever held working as an employee in somewhat small organizations, I can remember the feeling of hearing the boss coming down the hallway. I had one boss in particular who would only come around when something was wrong. Maybe you have experience that feeling of, “Oh no, why is he coming this way”. Looking back, I now recognize that I was always questioning if I had done enough to be out of the line of fire.

As I started managing people in our businesses I noticed a major flaw in how I managed. I often had expectations and ideas that were never expressed to the people reporting to me. If you were to ask me if I expected my employees to be able to read my mind I would answer of course not, but the way I was leading them would suggest something very different. One day, upon having a conversation with one of our managers I realized I had become the boss with loud footsteps, instilling fear in our employees, not because I lead harshly simply because I hadn’t taken the time and effort to clearly and plainly explain to every employee what it looked like for them to be winning in their position.

You may be thinking to yourself; that sounds great, but how tangible is this? I would encourage you that it is very tangible and attainable. The metrics you use to define what a win is for you organization are largely up to you, but I would encourage you to allow your employees to be apart of the development process. If you wandering how do I even begin this process, I would highly recommend a book I recently read titled, The 4 Disciplines of Execution.

You can get the book here.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

I won’t give away the entirety of the book, but what I am speaking of comes out in disciplines 3 and 4.

#3 Keep a Compelling Scoreboard – where people know exactly what is expected of them and how they can best benefit your organization.

#4 Create a Cadence of Accountability – research has shown that when people know when and what they will be held accountable to productivity increases immensely

If you are unsure if this principal deserves your time I would encourage you to ask your employees the following question, and strive to get an unbiased answer!
“On a scale of 1 – 10 how confident are you that you know know you’re winning here at work?” If they score themselves low ask why? If they score themselves high ask a follow up question to identify what factors they are placing so much importance on.

I was surprised to find that I had employees that thought there were some things that were vastly more important than I did. So, to them if those things were being accomplished they were winning when in reality I didn’t give value to those specific accomplishments. In some cases I came to value things I didn’t originally perceive as necessary, but in every case both my employee and I were able to agree on what things we would define as necessary to accomplish a win and how to measure those things. This gave us both the clarity and confidence to know when we were winning, when we weren’t and why.

I encourage you to develop a scoreboard for your team and help them define the win so everyday they come to work, they know exactly how to win for you and your organization!