This is part two…for the first part of this post click here
2. Develop a simple vocabulary which clarifies.
Possibly the best take away from the meeting I mentioned in the last post was the strategy the team came up with to get me to assign a number of importance to something I care a lot about. When there is confusion in someone’s mind (and it happens more than I’d have thought) they will ask me to give it a number between 1-5. 5 being “this matters big time and you need to move heaven and earth to be there” to 1 being “if you have anything else to do during that time do it”.
3. Regularly clarify your expectations for each person you lead.
I’ve had people on my team busting their butt to make me happy and at the same time I’ve been frustrated because I wonder why the heck they are spending so much time on something I don’t care about. This is my fault. If I’ve got a loyal soldier who is giving it everything they have and believes they are working in line with the big picture it is my role to re-direct that effort.
When expectations are clarified you know what happens? You find out if the problem is you or them. Because if the frustration goes away, you know the problem was you. If they still spend hours doing things you have clearly said don’t matter, then you know the problem is them.
What you can’t do is leave someone to just figure it out. Or give hints you think are totally obvious, but just add confusion and worry. I can’t stand leadership hints - they are either missed entirely (and then add to your frustration) or else they are felt waaaay heavier then intended. Have the courage to sit down and say “I want you to do this and not this and if you do the former you are a success in my book”. At least you’ll get somewhere.
I’ve heard visionary types talk about the need for repetition. And yes, you have to say it lots. But more important than that, whatever “it” is can’t change every few months or even years. If you keep your “it” for 10 years you will end up repeating “it” a lot. I’d say consistency is more important than repetition because repetition is a by product of consistency.
At PAC we are moving into year 4 of UPSIDEDOWN. It isn’t going anywhere. In fact, we are just starting to see it’s versatility for HC, 2 locations, youth, Westpark School, discipleship and even for setting up what we do in Mexico City.
That’s it. Feel free to drop me a note and let me know about a time where your lack of communication created unnecessary resentment inside you - I love knowing I’m not the only one.