The importance of having a common goal
We continue the focus of examining the keys to a winning team and the role of the leader. This week we look at the importance of achieving powerful results behind a unifying common goal.
If you lead a team, one of the most powerful ways to unite people is to have everyone working towards a common goal. Just imagine how well your sports team would do if every player did not have the common goal of winning!
Let’s take a football team - all the players know what role they need to play to achieve their common goal - win the game. The goalkeeper knows that their primary role is to stop the other team scoring - but interestingly - every other player also helps by making tackles and passing the ball to another member of their own team - rather than giving it to the other team (if you support Wolves - like I do - you will know however that this is not always the case!). The forwards know that their primary contribution towards achieving the common goal - is to score goals - but again -the goalkeeper can also score. So using the football example we can see how every team member understands and contributes to achieving their common goal. Does your business have a common goal?? Does everyone know how they contribute?? Does every team member support the other to achieve??
If people just turn up to work each day and are expected to do their best, it is not too inspiring aside from knowing that “I did a good job today”. When people are faced with a challenge whether it be one of adversity or not, you are tapping into a sense of belonging. At the core people want to feel they are a part of something significant and that they are seen by others as an important part of that something. They also want to know what success looks like - how do I know when I have made a great contribution to the common goal?
When a team has a common goal that is meaningful, it creates that significance. The key is the goal must be inspiring for the leader so when it is communicated, that inspiration and enthusiasm is carried. When a goal is communicated in such a way, the feelings of the leader are transferred to the team and the effect will be people acting with a sense of purpose.
We conducted a team day recently that was a follow up to one we had done 12 months ago. At the first team day, the owners had some rough goals they were looking for and at the second they had crystal clear goals they were excited about. The difference was astounding.
By the end of the day you could see the team uniting at a new level and no one wanted to leave the event. Of course they eventually did but considering this was being held on a Saturday, the result was fantastic to see.
Make sure everyone on your team is working towards a common goal. Say it often and repeat it often. Many leaders assume their team know the goal of the project or task at hand. Don’t leave it to chance. Start every meeting with a recap of what you are trying to achieve and how your team’s work will help get there. Ensure that the common goal is visible and that you have tools to measure the progress to achieving the critical outcomes - what does success look like - how does everyone know they are on track?
So on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the power of your goals for your team? And on the same scale, how would you rate how well you have communicated them? Please let us know.
Remember there is a potential grant of £1000 towards your leadership development - “who do you need to be” to be an even better leader?