3 Keys to Leading a Winning Team with Jeff Mask

When you have clarity in the role, clarity as a whole, and clarity of goals, the team you’re leading will absolutely be winning.

Today’s episode is a micro-session around three simple, but powerful, principles to help your team win. Too often, as leaders, we overlook fundamentals. We get distracted. We get going too quickly. People get hired and they’re excited, but when days and weeks go by, and they’re not quite sure what winning looks like in their role, they start questioning: Am I adding value? Am I succeeding? I don’t know.

If there’s ever a question in your team member’s mind about whether or not they’re succeeding, that’s the beginning of a difficult path. So let’s change that. 

Think about this for a minute: What’s a role you once held in a company where you just didn’t know if you were doing a good job or not? You didn’t know what success looked like. You didn’t know exactly what was expected of you. Sometimes we’ll get a job description at the beginning, but we never revisit it, and we don’t really know if that’s still what our job is. 

The 3 Keys to Winning

  1. Clarity in the role 
  2. Clarity as a whole 
  3. Clarity of goals

When those are all clear, our chances of winning are significantly greater. Let’s break it down.

#1: Clarity in the Role

Why does the role exist? What did the job description say again? And are you actually doing that? What are the three key metrics, the big things you’re measured on? What are the reasons why the company is investing money in you to get that job done? Are you clear on what that job looks like? Are you clear for the person you’re hiring of what their job looks like?

Second, what does success look like? Can you define success as a leader? And can your team members define the same success? Too often, we have different definitions. The employee may feel like they’re doing great, but you are frustrated with their work, because you haven’t articulated what success looks like.

And don’t forget this important third point: the timeframe of that success. 

Jeff was leading a director one time. They sat down and got clear on his role and the key metrics, what success would look like, and he was good to go. A couple months went by, and Jeff had this feeling something was wrong, but the guy seemed to think things were great. Jeff pulled him aside and asked about the role. The director was on fire. He loved it.

“You know,” Jeff said, “I’m just concerned that we’ve only got a little less than a month to go to nail these milestones.”

“What do you mean?” the director said, puzzled. “I thought we had until the end of the year.”

It was a palm-to-forehead moment when Jeff realized he had never told him the time frame. Jeff was thinking a quarter. The director was thinking a year. It was totally Jeff’s fault.

#2: Clarity As a Whole

How do the players work together? Who does what and when and why? If everybody does everything, it’s hard to know who owns it. Balls get dropped, batons get dropped.

Think of a 4×4 relay team. Each runner knows what their particular role is. They know what to do. They know what it needs to look like when they pass off the baton. They know what time they want to beat. And they know they want that gold medal. That’s clarity. 

Defining what and how the roles work also helps cross-functionally. When you have different departments working on different tasks, you need to know what each department’s role is, so that when you’re working on customer experience or whatever, it’s fluid and there aren’t holes.

#3: Clarity of Goals

What are the milestones? What are the time frames? What, if relevant, are the rewards? Why does it matter? 

When each person on the team knows their roles, knows their part of the whole, and knows what the goals are, your chances of winning are significantly greater. 

Ask yourself: On a scale of 1 to 10, when it comes to each of the roles on your team, how clear are the roles? Do they each have clear metrics? Do they know what success looks like? Are they clear on the time frame of that success?

On a scale of 1 to 10, does every team player know how they work together, who’s doing what, who hands the baton off and when? Is that clear in everyone’s mind? 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how clear are the milestones, the time frames, and the rewards on the goals that you have set forth? Could each member of your team articulate the goals? 

This is a quick simple exercise you can implement. Implement these 3 keys to winning, and momentum will be so much stronger, so much more powerful. When people know they’re winning, momentum begets momentum. When they’re questioning winning, when they’re questioning success, ambiguity begets ambiguity, and it’s tough to win in that situation.  

Richard and Jeff want to hear from YOU. How are you implementing these 3 keys to winning? What other things have you tried that have been successful? Do you have feedback on the show? Topics you’d like them to dive into? Things that resonated with you or that you disagreed with? Email them here: feedback@readytolead.com 


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