Develop the Right Habits
As we enter 2021, many of us will begin to make long lists of goals for the year. However, developing habits to actually achieve those goals is the difference between having a dream and making it become reality.
According to strategy and execution consultant Michael Canic in a recent Inc. article, there are three habits a leader must develop to consistently execute on goals: develop the right focus, create the right environment, and build the right team.
Develop the Right Focus
According to Canic, for the focus to be “right,” it has to be sustained. Here’s how he suggests doing that:
Strategic management, not strategic planning: Many organizations think of a strategic plan as a thing or an event, rather than a process. Once the plan is created, the organization goes back to day-to-day activities rather than letting the plan shape milestones and actions.
Talk about failure: Leaders will often articulate what success looks like, but don’t outline what it would mean to fail. Contrasting the two can help lead to more sustained focus.
Do less: When leaders are ambitious, they typically take on too much, causing resources and the workforce to be stretched thin. Leaders should focus on must-do initiatives and concentrate on the best execution plan for those priorities.
Create the Right Environment
In the right environment, culture is aligned with the focus of the organization. Here are five ways to create an environment that results in both engagement and execution:
Connect the dots: People are engaged when they have a sense of purpose, but that purpose needs to be organizational goals that are actionable.
Equip people to succeed: Leaders need to set up their teams with the right knowledge, skills, resources, and authority so they feel like they can make an impact.
Coach, don’t manage: Coaches provide feedback to help each team member perform at the highest level. Rather than manage projects, coach your team members.
Design your processes to execute: Few things are as frustrating than when a process or policy prohibits you from accomplishing a task. Make sure processes are streamlined so they help execute rather than slow things down.
Connect with the heart: When people feel respected and trusted, they will go above and beyond to help push the execution of projects they care about.
Build the Right Team
Both of the above pieces are critical for execution, but the right focus and environment won’t matter if the right team isn’t on board. Canic suggests that organizations often look for skills and experience, but they forget about finding someone with the right traits. Competitiveness and curiosity may be just as important as years of experience or appropriate training.