As we near the start of a new year, I’ve been reflecting on R|L’s journey over the last 40 years and where we want to grow in 2022. I remember early on asking myself and our team the 30,000-foot “What if” question: “What would be possible if we brought Authenticity and Accountability to individuals, teams, and organizations to drive business profits & ROI and…“Create Uncommon Results”®?” This vision has been at the core of our business since 1981. We have seen firsthand how wrestling with our aspirational vision and values has aligned our team with a shared purpose and an intentional direction.
What if…2022 rings in a new year of leaders coming together, engaging in renewed visioning and forward-looking alignment? How can we, as leaders, change the reactive landscape and negative messaging from what has been called the great resignation and great reshuffle with a different message? One that inspires talent to take action, to uncover innovative solutions, to live the organization’s mission. This is not to minimize in any way the daunting challenges of our time, but to offer a means to ensure courage, resiliency, and sustainability of our efforts and support our exhausted workforces.
We have seen what it takes for our client companies to create a pathway to envision new possibilities, transform their cultures, and make unique and even extraordinary impacts on society. McKinsey’s research in April 2020 stated that 82% of employees feel it is important for organizations to have a purpose and 72% feel it should receive more weight than profits. A strong, shared, and authentic vision shapes the culture of the organization as it undergirds displayed values, not just those that are espoused.
Consider these 7 key strategies in the days ahead as you design a framework to tether your vision, mission, and values.
1) Begin with strong affirmation of what the senior team and organization have accomplished over the past year. Individuals have endured personal and professional hardships and need renewed encouragement to increase conviction, commitment, and positive energy to give it their best.
2) Bring an authentic mindset to the table. For leaders to truly walk the talk it requires new levels of vulnerability, openness, transparency, and directness. As you engage authentically, suspend your own needs to observe and serve the greater good of the organization.
3) Be curious and ask different questions to solicit different vantage points. Shaping the vision collectively allows the team to express the real dreams for future successes and offers hope for what could be possible – hence my “What if…” question. This identifies a clear path forward, bridging the gaps between the current state and the future state. Remember that the vision should be compelling and endure beyond the immediate leader. It shapes your corporate identity and brand for competitive advantage.
4) Personalize the team’s vision into each leader’s role. How will each leader contribute meaningfully to the vision / mission journey in their own functional area? Delineating this will naturally unleash more of each leader’s potential and build key synergies and trust amongst the cross-functional teams.
5) Anchor the team by leveraging each leader’s unique competencies so you can accelerate the achievement of that vision even through business complexities. When talent feels valued for their contributions, the quality of the outcomes and the ROI increase.
6) If COVID has taught us anything, it has shown us that organizational culture matters. Ask the tough questions about areas of cultural risk: how do we want to behave together, what needs to be preserved in the culture, and what should be eliminated or adapted in order to realize the aspirational vision?
7) Commit to keeping your vision (direction) and mission (purpose) creatively at the forefront of your everyday communications and decision-making.
I have long believed that you get what you focus on…so before you step into immediate action in the new year, get clear on your direction and purpose. The rewards of these focused efforts will set the stage for momentum you can count on for 2022!
Wishing you a warm and bright holiday season and a powerful year ahead.
|About the Author
Clyde C. Lowstuter
Clyde is a peak performance Executive Coach and CEO of R|L. He has been a visionary thought leader and pioneer in the field designing and leading corporate coaching and team building since 1981. He has been a visionary thought leader and pioneer in the field designing and leading executive career transition services, corporate coaching, and team building since 1981. From an early age, he was fascinated by why and how people think, feel, and behave differently from one another. He deduced that Authenticity, Accountability & Behavioral Agility are foundational to success. Insatiably curious and resourceful, Clyde enables executives to assess more of their capabilities and confidence. Read Full Bio