By Michael Holland –

Recently I saw a commercial where a young couple throws a dart at a map and then take off for their weekend adventure to wherever the dart landed. How spontaneous and fun.

Your employees are hoping you’re less adventurous.

In the rush of work and the ever-changing whims of senior leadership, it can be extremely difficult to stay on top of where the organization is heading and where you and your team should invest their time and energy to support the organization.

But your job is to do just that.

Your team is expecting you to be a few steps ahead guiding them forward, pushing obstacles out of the way and making the path forward as smooth as possible.

Here are some keys to staying a few steps ahead.

Think About Being Steps Ahead

As part of your #Leadwell Daily Ritual, you should be thinking about the vision for your team and the horizon.  Just the act of thinking about it for a few minutes will allow you to quickly pivot as needed during the day and provide smooth communications to your team making them more comfortable.

Climb the Tree

A word picture to think about as a leader. . . you are the one who is climbing the tree to scout out the trail ahead.  You have set the trajectory of work and now you can see how the trend line looks for where things are heading and see any upcoming canyons or mountains.

And more importantly, you can see the upcoming smooth trail and easy road and can anticipate how to help your team take that advantage of that smooth trail to rejuvenate and celebrate the work they’ve completed.

See It Before You Lead It

You won’t have all the information when things change and you likely won’t have the proper time you’d prefer to think through all the impacts. But you can create some mental roadmaps to what could happen.

Take some time to think through the probable points of change or problems and how you would adjust the flow of your team or the work.  You want to see the actions through in your mind as you would deal with them and then when that change comes – or one that is similar – you have the mental roadmap or plan that can be guide you.

Employee comfort, belief, and engagement come mainly for trusting their leader.  That trust comes from a variety of sources, but one important one is the feeling that the boss will guide them down the best path possible. Even if the boss isn’t totally sure of where it will end up.  They just know the boss has already figured out which of the paths is the best.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Write down your current vision for your team. Did it flow out easily or did you struggle to clearly articulate it?
  • What is the vision your boss has for you and your peers?
  • Need help with a list for See It Before You Lead It?  Grab a peer leader and together come up with several scenarios.