Want to get stuff done? Crush the vagueness of your story.
I was thinking back on the times when the people I was managing would tell me they had nothing to do (especially if I had to ask them what they were doing.) I remember thinking, "Is our story not clear about what we're trying to do as an organization and doesn't that give you the clarity to be proactive?" Maybe not. Maybe this one was on me. Recalling this made me think that we cannot underestimate the clarity of our story. Especially in regards to our most crucial audience – our team members. That led to two other thoughts:
- We have to constantly guard against our story becoming clouded by changing times.
- We need to make sure we continue to tell that story to all our team members and not assume that they will just pick it up by osmosis.
Yeah, your story can do that
We don't need some slow-clap-inducing rah-rah speech (although slow claps are indisputably awesome.) We can get and keep everyone focused and motivated with our clear and compelling story.
As a secondary benefit, this same story also reduces the need for cheesy, internal motivational programs and "Is this good for the company?" banners (which are indisputably not awesome.)
A clear story gives our folks a set of guideposts to follow. They should easily be able to ask, "Is what I'm doing helping to amplify the story?" Or we use it to hold each other accountable. Not accountable to a company edict. Rather, we are holding each other accountable to an ideal that has a larger meaning for all of us. And since we're using the story form, it gives us the ability to add rich language that keeps the motivational fires burning.
A lot of us don't think of our story in this capacity. But if we allow it to, it can help us do this and more. The really great part is the continuity this creates between all of us and all of those we hope to serve. The story that we're championing with our people is the same story that we share with everyone we want to inspire.
Let's make that story as clear and compelling as we possibly can. We just may be surprised what it can help us get done.