Adapted from Align: 4 Simple Steps for Leaders to Create Employee Fulfillment
Using your purpose as your destination is like setting your GPS and heading for the coordinates instead of wandering aimlessly and hoping you’ll get to your destination. Having an agreed-upon destination will relieve a lot of the stress in your organization. The tasks you do every day become the mile markers that tell you that you are getting closer and making progress. Your team will love that!
If you have big mountains to climb you need to start by getting your team in a room and discussing what’s ahead, who has responsibility for what, and timelines. In those meetings you will feel a lot of things—hopefulness and anticipation; urgency, but not frantic-ness; confidence that the peak is reachable and that you can all do it together.
Classify your tasks into Requirements, Needs and Wants. Here are the definitions of each:
- Requirements – Anything that has a hard deadline that’s been set from outside the organization, like an external audit or a project that is due for a client that has a hard deadline.
- Needs – A need task is one that addresses something that, if left undone, could introduce a threat to your company, such as a loss of business or revenue. These needed tasks should be completed, but if they are not for some reason, the business won’t necessarily shut down.
- Wants – These are the ‘nice to haves’. It would be great to do them if and when someone has time to do them.
Once you have your tasks broken down into these three categories, you can start to prioritize them. Start with the required tasks, and number them from most important to least important. Then do the same for needs and wants.
By doing this you give your people a clear vision of what a win looks like. You pick off these tasks one by one and people see the progress and their place in making it happen. This creates momentum. People are engaged in the process. They care about and think through what’s ahead as much as you do, if not more.
It’s a remarkable transformation, one that exists in most great organizations, no matter the industry.