This video is part four in the five part series that details five simple steps a new leader can take to assert himself, earn the trust of his teammates, and begin to lead effectively. Here we discuss the importance setting a clear vision and focusing on a few specific goals as a way of asserting your leadership and getting your team moving in the right direction.
We’re on to the fourth step out of five that you as a new leader can take the very first time you take charge. In our scenario, you are leading your group’s first meeting and have already taken several important steps to take charge and earn the trust and confidence of your team. You positioned yourself as the leader, you clarified the roles of your other key leaders, and you have established communications. Now it’s time to move on to step four, defining the group’s vision and goals.
Good leaders have a clear sense of where they are going and can picture what success looks like for their group – that’s their vision. Goals are the steps the group achieves along the way that will help them realize their vision. People want to follow leaders who know where they are going and have a plan to get there.
If your group already has a vision and clear goals, now is a good time to reinforce what they are, committing yourself and the team to achieving them. Beyond this, you can lead the group even more effectively by zeroing in on one or two key goals for everyone to focus on that will take the group closer to its achieving its vision. It is important to think about this and discuss with your leaders in advance so that you have their support.
What you say might sound something like this:
OK, we are all here because we are committed to realizing our vision of “having fun while serving others.” One of the things I think we should focus on this year is to make sure that all new members are able to advance to skill level 3 within the first year so that we are better able to work as a team. We have four new members this year, but I know we can do it if we stay focused.” Doing this will make us all better at what we do together to achieve our vision.
You are continuing your strong start by speaking very clearly and specifically about the direction the group needs to go and reaffirming your commitment to helping the group get there. By zeroing in on a specific, achievable goal you are helping the group focus its efforts. Since the goal you picked has immediate benefit to group members, you are demonstrating that you care about them; and since you are continuing the effort to realize the group’s vision, you get points for consistency as well.
Of course it is important that everyone in the group understand the group’s purpose. If the group already has a vision and established goals, great – now is a good time to remind everyone what they are.
If a clear vision and goals do not exist, then soon you will need to get some in place so you know where you are trying to lead the group, and preferably this is done collaboratively. This part could take a little longer, but you don’t want the group to bog down in a lengthy discussion at the very first meeting. It’s better to have a specific meeting dedicated to this effort.
In that case, maybe you say something like this:
“OK, since we are starting out on a new year, now is a good time to make sure that we have clear goals and objectives in mind so we can stay focused. When we meet next week, I think we should discuss what they should be. So for next meeting please come with three good ideas that we can talk about…….”
The group exists to fulfil its purpose, right? So you are strengthening your leadership position by focusing the team on what that purpose is, and establishing concrete goals that will guide your actions. By soliciting individual input for your goal setting session, you are telling them that their opinion matters, which strengthens identity with the group.
Setting a clear vision is critical for your team’s success, and it is your role as the leader to communicate what that vision is, and what the steps are that your team needs to take to get there. Doing this early will help you take charge of your organization and set it on the right path from the beginning. In the next video, we’ll talk about one more step to help you take charge: Getting a quick win.
Thanks for watching.