When my client Graham took on his new leadership role, it seemed obvious to him the business was in decline. He spent the first few months discovering how people viewed the viability of the organisation. He asked them what they saw as the predictable future if nothing changed. People said the organisation would limp along for another few years. But they had not confronted the inevitable demise of the business and the impact on them.
Graham helped them face the grim reality of the predictable future. The company reputation would suffer and talented people would leave. They would not attract new talent. People who remained would have to work harder while waiting for the sale of the business. A slow demise did not inspire them to get out of bed in the morning.
Once Graham’s leadership team confronted the predictable future, they were galvanised into creating and aligning on a vision for a new future for the organisation. That also inspired them to take the next step and set stretch objectives to achieve their goal.
The difference here was the vision was not thrust on them by Graham; it was one they owned. He helped them shift the way they viewed the future. Graham knew that he could not transform the organisation himself and that he could multiply his results with an aligned leadership team.
The organisation became a model for transformation in their sector and has attracted interest from like-minded organisations.
Aligning a leadership team and unlocking their leadership potential produces powerful results. In the Netflix sports docuseries The Playbook, NBA coach Doc Rivers took the Boston Celtics to their first NBA championship in 22 years. The team united around the African concept of Ubuntu, which comes from a Zulu phrase, “a person can only be a person through others.” The concept unified the Celtics. Rivers said the philosophy meant, “I can’t be all I can be, unless you are all you can be. I can never be threatened by you because you’re good, because the better you are, the better I am.”
What does it take to align a team on a new future in your experience?
Best regards, Brian