Seems simple enough doesn’t it? You would be surprised at how many managers take for granted that the people who work for them generally can’t read minds.
Similar to the concept we explored in Principle 9 of this series, making sure your intent is clear is an extension to keeping your team informed of the overall mission.
But let’s take it one step further. Let’s say your company produces widgets in a niche B2B landscape. Let’s say your mission is to be the best widget maker in the country. Your team is busy making the best widgets they can since the overall mission is to be the best, but what if your short term goals are slightly different in focus? What if your intent over the next 6 months is to drive the cost of production down so you can reinvest the savings into R+D to expand your widget making business? Your team may continue to focus on quality at whatever the cost rather than looking for interesting ways to cut costs without impacting quality.
This is why your meaning or intent must be clear.
Once your team knows your intent, don’t think your work is done. You must continue to reiterate your message the way a brand leader tries to reinforce a brand’s position. It’s a constant effort but one that pays off in droves. It promotes unity, it reduces miscommunication or confusion and it helps maintain focus.
Read the other leadership principles:
- Lead by example
- Make sound and timely decisions
- Seek and accept responsibility
- Achieve professional competence
- Know your troops and promote their welfare
- Develop leadership potential in your followers
- Train your troops as a team and employ them to their capabilities
- Appreciate your own strengths and weaknesses and pursue self-improvement
- Keep your team informed of the mission, the changing situation and the overall picture
- Ensure your followers know your meaning and intent and lead them to the accomplishment of the mission