by Michael Holland
I imagine that most employees can recite the general wording of the mission statement or vision statement or whatever statement is posted around their work environment. In our own lives we all have statements we’ve memorized: the Pledge of Allegiance, scouting pledges, the Lord’s Prayer, the first few phrases of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the 1975 McDonalds jingle “two all-beef patties special sauce . . .” But there’s a distinct difference between someone reciting a statement and someone living the essence and purpose behind that statement. Somehow, there is a deeper connection to the intent of the statement.
The psyche of successful teams and companies centers on the concept of all members knowing intimately the purpose and intent of the entity. The employees or team members know their individual roles and how those roles help to achieve success for the greater good. This intimate knowledge comes from leaders who work hard to create, sustain and protect organizational clarity, which according to author Patrick Lencioni “. . . [is] not merely about choosing the right words to describe a company’s mission, strategy or values; it is about agreeing on the fundamental concepts that drive it.”
Your role as a leader is to work with your peers to create organizational clarity, allowing employees to really know why the team and organization exists, whom it serves and what is to be achieved, then to behave and lead in ways that amplify those fundamental concepts.