When is the last time you celebrated the fact that your team used a “one for all, all for one” approach in how the business operated? There are certainly instances when this approach is required. For example, when you are a startup business and there aren’t a lot of players on the team yet, this approach will contribute to your success.
There is a point in time however when this mentality can be detrimental. That is, when your company matures, there is a tipping point when “all for one, one for all” can be a roadblock. What about your organization? Is there a clear structure? Does each member of your team know what their role entails? Do they know what they are accountable for? If you aren’t sure, that’s ok. There is no time like the present to start clarifying roles and responsibilities.
Identifying who owns what work can be a real game changer. It may be as simple as working with each member of the team to identify the work being done, identify overlap and work that no one seems to own. This is typically work that falls through the cracks. Once roles are clearly identified, then additional processes need to be put in place. A weekly team meeting, for example, where the team shares what they are working on, obstacles and items where they may need additional support.
I have found that a lack of clarity causes an incredible amount of frustration at every level. The question is, with so many working from home, are you even aware of the severity of the issue? This frustration can lead to turnover and that gets very expensive. Each member of the team who leaves takes a certain amount of intellectual property along with them.
Role Clarity Makes a Difference
I have found that most people crave role clarity and accountability. While others are uncomfortable by the thought of fully owning something. Being personally accountable however is amazing for several reasons. I love this list that B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura put together on the benefits of personal accountability.
- More control over your destiny
- Become an active contributor rather than a passive observer
- Others look to you for leadershipYou gain the reputation as a problem solver
- Enhance your career opportunities
- Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from getting things done
- Experience less anger, frustration and helplessness – all leading to better physical health
- Realize a positive spillover effect into your personal life at home
It is way too easy to blame everyone else when things are not going right. I have seen a lot of this as a side effect of COVID. I believe when we take personal responsibility, we can excel regardless of the obstacles around us. Gallagher and Ventura put together these words of personal responsibility. I hope they inspire you to take action.
10 most important words: I won’t wait for others to take the first step.
9 most important words: If it is to be, it’s up to me.
8 most important words: If not me, who? If not now, when?
7 most important words: Let me take a shot at it.
6 most important words: I will not pass the buck.
5 most important words: You can count on me.
4 most important words: It IS my job!
3 most important words: Just do it!
2 most important words: I will.
Most important word: Me.
Time to Take Action
I encourage you to not let ONE MORE MOMENT go by allowing a lack of role clarity to exist in your organization. If you aren’t sure if this is an issue, ask your team about it. If you are concerned that the team is reluctant to admit the issues, look for clues. With so much remote working, it can be harder than ever to determine where the weak points are. I recently had conversations with associates in an organization who were happy to share the challenges. Associates are just waiting to be asked. Be courageous. Ask. Then call me and I will help you solve it!
Always in your Corner,