(Co-Authored by Tim Scholten & Aaron Schulman)
The first 5 steps of our Market Beating Strategy TM set your business up for unparalleled success. Once you master these, your ability to guide your team to increasing achievement has virtually no limits.
In step 4, we teach you how to efficiently and effectively Assess your strategy so that your entire team is on board and self-accountable so that all are working with excitement, unity and passion towards the initiatives that will reach new pinnacles of achievement.
This next step (6) is called “Commit”.
The previous 5 steps have prepared your business for ultimate success in actually seeing your strategic plan get traction and get results.
But how do you get 100% commitment from your team?
Is there really a “secret sauce”?
You’ve lived in the real world of running a business and might even be a bit jaded or guarded at the thought that your team could be 100% committed and enthusiastic about achieving the team’s goals… because you’ve “been there – done that”.
However, is 100% buy-in possible?
Yes – we’ve seen it happen dozens of times because we were able to identify the real barriers to commitment and buy-in.
It’s most often caused in your strategic planning process and involvement of or lack there of the right key players on your team.
When a strategic plan is created by a very small group of people, and handed off to others to carry out without any input or understanding,100% buy-in is almost never achieved.
There is a disconnect between the strategic plan and the motivation of the “others” to carry it out as planned.
The main key is in ownership and a real sense of valued contribution.
Once you learn how to simplify your strategic plan and communicate it in a way that allows for your team to contribute and have their ideas validated and “heard” they will be much more likely to take ownership of their own piece of the pie and go “all in”.
When you can get your team to take 100% responsibility, this solves multiple problems and negates other team dynamics and psychological issues that prevent people from doing their best for the team vision.
Imagine an iceberg…
10% of the iceberg is on the surface, and that is what you see.
90% is under the surface yet that 90% (the unseen) is what causes people to go in the wrong direction or at least slow the team down…
Seeing the 90% and getting under the surface is the key.
But most people just focus on the 10% or are unaware of the 90% underneath and can’t understand why those few people never seem to run with the vision.
And the key to seeing the 90% and getting under the surface is connecting with the team in a way that they realize they are being heard and their contribution is valued.
Most people do not want to just show up for a paycheck, but want to know and feel that their input before the actual production takes place, is valued.
This is why the previous steps of our Market Beating Strategy is so important, and getting team input is so valuable and foundational to seeing real visible progress.
Those who don’t want to contribute and just show up for a paycheck might not be the right fit for your team vision, but how do you know the difference between the two?
The weight of success ALWAYS lies on the shoulders of the owner or team leaders, regardless of who is towing their weight and who is not… Responsibility for success and failure always points to leadership.
Often leaders will secretly or publicly accuse or shift blame down the line, but that never works and only adds to the delaying of solving the real issues.
So how do you get 100% buy-in so that you are no longer putting out fires and chasing decoys?
The solution is the “Commit” step in our market beating strategy.
As in the example above, most people on the team go with the flow but most teams have that 1 or 2 outliers who do not “buy in” and therefore cause “drag” on the progress of the whole team…
They have something going on underneath the surface which prevents them from going in the same direction and so the vision (strategic plan) is not progressing like it should.
The problem is getting to the root issue so that you can get 100% buy in.
With our commit process, we will show you how to get 100% commitment from your team on all initiatives.
No longer will you have to hold-hands or spend countless time and energy re-motivating your team.
They will own their piece of your strategy and will run it with confidence and enthusiasm, helping you avoid being the strategy bully.
Some symptoms & signs that your business / team needs to master “Commit“
- Initiatives don’t have owners, or you own them all
- You don’t talk about your progress very often
- You don’t really report progress
- Your team doesn’t know what your plans are
- There are no real consequences for not achieving your initiatives
- Your team is always looking outside for opportunities
After you master the skill of “Commit” at our Marketing Beating Strategy Workshop your business will exhibit these characteristics of a thriving business:
- Each initiative has an owner
- You talk about progress weekly or at least monthly
- You report your progress monthly
- Your entire team is aware of your plans
- You report your progress to the board regularly
- There is recognition and accountability for achieving and not achieving initiatives
- Your team is excited about your future plans
- Your team members understand WHY these are priorities for your company
Case Study #1:
One client I worked with spent hours each year working on a strategic plan for his firm.
His board required it and so do regulators.
They want to see that the leader of an organization has a roadmap for the future that leads to success.
But here was his challenge…
This leader saw strategic planning as a process for satisfying his board and regulators rather than a real strategic plan for leading his organization.
So once the plan was developed, he put it in a nice binder on his shelf to show those interested that there was a plan.
It just sat there and collected dust.
He never got the commitment of his leadership team on the plan and priorities, therefore no one was really interested in the plan.
His team saw his plan the same way he did.
Each year passed and there was little to no progress.
There were always excuses why they didn’t grow and improve profits…..tough market conditions, new competition, competitors willing to give away the store, etc.
When I met with this team, I shared that it didn’t have to be this way.
They didn’t need to settle for another year of mediocrity that included below market raises and no bonuses or enduring another round of cost cutting and staff consolidations.
But, with good planning and having the entire team committed to a real plan, could result in significant progress.
That year we developed a real strategic plan with the entire leadership team involved.
Then, each team leader engaged their team in implementation discussions and shared why these were the company’s priorities for the year.
And, an amazing thing happened.
They grew by 10% that year, experiencing their first profitable year in the last 5 years and received competitive pay increases across the board.
The difference was that leadership was strategic about their planning for the first time.
They finally saw how having a team committed to pulling in the same direction could create momentum versus having everyone doing their own thing and often counteracting their teammates’ efforts.
They experienced a leadership transformation.
Case Study #2
Another client ran a small business.
It was just her and 2 other employees.
Her employees knew their jobs well and were quite effective at accomplishing them.
The challenge was that none of them were really strategic.
They were simply doing the same things they began doing when they formed the company.
They actually had a pretty good plan overall, but were prone to falling into old habits.
There was comfort in doing the same old thing every day.
What commitment meant for this business owner was to be accountable for breaking those old habits and taking action on her plan on a weekly basis.
She needed help breaking the habit cycle.
That is when I introduced her to weekly accountability.
Just the fact that she made a commitment at the beginning of the week to accomplish strategic tasks, she was 3 times more likely to work on it and get those tasks completed.
Like most of us, we don’t want to let others down.
We don’t like going back on our word.
The simple step of creating an action plan for the week and communicating it to someone who will hold you accountable may be the difference between average performance and success, or even failure and success.
They key was to find a way to help her truly commit to seeing her plan executed.
The results were amazing.
She grew her operation by 25% and added an additional person to the team for the first time since she started.
This was motivating to her, but also to her existing team members.
They saw a future with her company they hadn’t seen before.
They were inspired to engage in helping her with planning the next steps and break out of their own comfort zones.
Their commitment began to reflect her new commitment.
In just a single year, both of these companies were transformed by that one word….Commitment.
If you and your team are not as committed to your future success as you feel you should be, give us a call……..
Would you like some guidance to turn your strategy into real team Commitment and maximum levels of productivity?
Give us a call for a brief, no-nonsense strategy session and we’ll help you.
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