Below is an article I recently wrote and posted on LinkedIn. What I didn’t expand upon is how the ideas in this article can be applied in a coaching relationship and the benefits. I’m sharing it here as it offers a coaches and clients my view of how to effect change. I hope you will enjoy.
Where do we go from here? And how do we get there from here…. These are very relevant questions that are being discussed each day in the media. Can our nations leaders fix health care? Is there a way forward? Many employees today struggle with comparably complex issues and dilemmas. If you follow the news, you know the U.S. Senate plans to vote on a healthcare bill this week. The main problem – no one knows what they’re voting on. Only in Washington – a place described in the evening news as the Wild West will this happen. How does the business of our country run when people in leadership positions have lost their compass, map or consensus on a direction forward? Where is true north in this scenario?
It may appear politically incorrect to talk politics on a business networking site. I use Washington’s lack of clarity to make a point. The challenges reflected in tonight’s news are mirrored in our businesses. Employees are tasked (often forced) to jump without a parachute. The most striking example is in customer service interactions. And the downside can be lost consumer confidence and ultimately business. Look no further than the airline industry and the customer service debacle at United Airlines. Lost luggage, bumping and dragging people from planes is the new normal. How would the results have differed if the flight attendants made the decisions? We don’t know in the case involving United Airlines where the original statements from the company indicated those responsible followed protocol. There’s no way to know. I am confident those involved didn’t go to work with the intention to headline the evening news.
So, how do you empower your teams to succeed and carry out their goals? Education alone isn’t enough or a good policy and procedure manual would suffice. A better approach is ingraining the core values (principle 1) with a clear purpose (principle 2). These two principles when communicated together create the cornerstone of your organizations culture.
Successful core values must be indoctrinated from the beginning and nurtured on a regular basis. Engrained in the organizations mindset the way the Golden Arches symbolizes McDonald’s. A business or organization’s purpose needs to be as basic as breathing so no one is ever in doubt. A simple answer to the question where we go from here and how to get there.
While it may seem like an over simplification, it is not, clarity on the foundational values and purpose of a business or organization combined and communicated effectively will bring everyone together. This in term creates the space needed to begin planning where to go next.
When leaders in Washington reach this same level of commitment to purpose and the core values our country was founded on, we will once again know where “true north” is as a nation.
In your personal life the same principles apply – clarity of goals, and solid values. How do you shape these? This is the excellent work of your life and is something many coaches out there can help you figure out.