Fostering commitment within an organization is a major responsibility for all leaders. Without commitment towards a clear vision, there’s simply not enough determination to achieve great things.
One subtle “gotcha” is when you think it’s clear what your people should commit to, but it isn’t to them! Commitment builds enthusiasm, but what good is it, if not clearly focused towards a common goal?
A few years back, I started working with a client that had established a big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) of growing 50X in the next seven years by opening 20 new stores. I love big ambition and have observed what seemed to be “impossible,” actually manifest through sheer tenacity and grit.
However, in this case, I was skeptical. Their management team was lacking the experience needed to pull it off and they simply were not sharing their vision throughout the company – most likely because they didn’t really believe it themselves.
But we added this to their V/TO (Vision/Traction Organizer) and began a quarterly pulse in the attempt to make it come to life. However, it wasn’t long before they recognized that the goal was unrealistic. Thankfully, they reassessed and reestablished a more achievable (yet aggressive) 7-yr Target (10X growth with fewer stores).
Lack of a clear vision can lead to wasted energy. My client was committed to growth, but never really clarified their goal and then hesitated to share it.
Once they made the adjustment to a goal they could commit to, energy and enthusiasm grew and their attention was purely focused on achieving an exciting vision. On top of this, each employee better understood their roles and were excited about the opportunity.
As a leader of your business, you’re responsible for developing and articulating a vision that everyone understands and can follow. The key is to gain clarity first, commitment second. This will foster the alignment and enthusiasm that will get you there faster!