I am at that stage in life where I am fighting an uphill battle against calories. Up until the time I turned 30, I never gave a calorie a second thought as my metabolism allowed me to consume as many as I wanted with little impact upon my weight. Now, however, that is not the case, and in my war with calories, I have discovered that if I don't track it - I lose - the battle that is. I lack the feedback that I need to win the battle where it is most important, in those moment by moment decisions, where the data on my calorie intake is crucial to maintain a stranglehold on those little buggers! I have learned that these calories need to be tracked.
Pick Something To Track
It is the same with your team. Each has a role to play. Everyone on the team has things to do that either help or take away from the teams' goals. You will have a pretty good idea of what you want each member of your team to set as goals and what to track. But the key in this discussion is that each of them has to make that determination on their own. They have to see it as something crucial for their success, personally.
If you run a team of Executive Assistants, for example, you may want them to be proactive and set as a goal that they should always have their VP or CEO, CFO, COOs fully briefed and ready for each meeting. However, you need them to see the importance of tracking hits and misses on that metric. You need to give them the latitude to experiment and track those metrics honestly without getting chewed out! You may guide the conversation, but they should own the metric they want to watch. In this case, the logical metric would be to simply count the number of successful meeting preps versus the number of unsuccessful meeting preps. If they come up with that idea and decide to track it, they will own it. From there, setting goals becomes easy.
Make Failure A Stepping Stone To Success
The key to all of this is to allow your staff to dive into the failed meetings. It is not about how many failed meetings there are, as long as they can look at those failures and drill down to why they failed, and come up with solutions to try going forward. If they are afraid to admit they failed and hide it, you all lose. You have to give them a safe environment to talk about that failure while providing accountability and support to allow them to come up with a solution. The value of this process is what will get discovered in those post-meeting analysis and the solutions they will come up with to ensure success.
Do Not Manage The Process, Let Them Do It!
You have to avoid the temptation to manage or engineer the process. In one LNG plant, there were issues with safety around the use of the golf carts that were used to get around the site. Golf carts are not fast, but this site was built in a Louisiana swamp, and so all the roadways were raised to alleviate issues around flooding and groundwater levels. Crews were being careless and rolling carts when doing things like backing up and so on. Since this plant was still under construction, the upper management, all engineers (bless them all!), decided to engineer a solution. Seat belts were installed, governors were put on to regulate speed, and yellow safety lines were painted on all the roadways that the carts used.
Guess what happened? Nothing - incidents continued at the same rate. Finally, one bright engineer suggested they ask the crews what might be done about this issue. And what did they found out? Most of the safety incidents were the result of two individuals who were notoriously poor drivers. They suggested assigning mentors to drive with those individuals for one month and to implement a policy of a one-month suspension from cart use (a lot of walking) for every incident. Because it was their idea, the crews owned it, and those incidents all but disappeared. This was the crew's goal, and they took it on and completed it.
Wired To Respond To Tracking
Here is where the Hu part of this all comes together. Research has shown that tracking and achieving goals releases dopamine. It is what lets us get stuff done. While it is highly addictive, it is only released when tangible goals are reached. Helping your team set and achieve goals is actually tapping into our human physiology and utilizing it to drive performance.
Success Breeds Success
On top of that release of dopamine, another aspect of Hu is that when we succeed or see others on our team do well, we get a hit of serotonin, which creates a sense of pride, confidence, a feeling of increased status, and a boost in our leadership capacity. So our success or the team's success actually creates a win/win cycle.
Regardless of what your team does, whether it be virtual, front-line operations or, something in the corporate or office setting, there are goals that each can be setting and pursuing. Once they do, they will succeed, and nothing breeds success like success. If something is key to the progress of your team, measure it, and set some goals. Performance Leadership - Think About It!