Champion Leadership Tip #23 – 3 Ways to Gain the Commitment of Your Employees

On athletic teams, the vision is clear:

Get to the Championship Game!

champion business team celebratingWhether it be the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, The World Cup Soccer Finals, the Final Four in college basketball, the first day of training camp all team members know the desired destination.

But, knowing the 3 keys to creating a champion business teame destination or vision is different that being committed to contributing one’s all to achieving that vision. I believe there are three key factors that athletic teams do extremely well on their path to the championship game, which company leaders need to better apply so that they can bring employees to the level where they commit to helping the organization fulfill its vision.

You’ll find it no surprise that all three factors involve clear, specific communication, on the following:

  1. The organization’s Vision and Purpose:
    This seems like a “no-brainer.” Yet, few organizational leaders do it well. How many individuals in your organization, including yourself, know its succinct vision and purpose? Many mission statements are usually long, drawn out and verbose statements. I prefer shorter, focused and concise one sentence statements for both the Vision and Purpose of an organization that allow everyone to memorize it and have it on the tip of their tongue.
  2. The individual team member’s role and it’s importance:
    On athletic teams roles are clearly defined, as are the expected contribution from each particular role. The individuals fulfilling the roles know what is expected of them, how their role fits in to the ‘bigger picture,’ and how fulfilling that role at that level makes a difference to the team getting to the championship game. Companies and organizations need to do the same for each employee. (ex., street sweepers at Disneyland are not viewed as just street sweepers but are seen as part of “the show.”)
  3. The parameters team members have to creatively fulfill their individual roles:
    On the field of play athletes are trusted to apply their skills and talents in a way that contributes to the team’s success. They have been “hired” because of those skills and talents and are given a clearly defined role, but within that role while the game is being played out, the athlete is given the freedom to take action, and create and fulfill opportunities as they decide in the heat of the action. Employees should be given the same type of freedom. (the reason why this works on athletic teams and not so well in organizations is that athletic teams have consistent feedback systems around “Performance Management,” and many business and non-profit organizations do not.)

To learn more on this topic you may want to download my free report titled, “The 3 Strategies of Champion Organizations.”

‘Til next time, make it a great week,