One of my observations from numerous reorganisations or strategic initiatives is that leaders are faced with a diverse and complex set of challenges: lack of clarity, uncertainty, an undefined vision, and resistance to change are just some of the pain points.
However, it’s these very challenges that can fuel a successful transformation. Steve Jobs once famously said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” In this article, I dig deeper and focus on one critical aspect: setting and pursuing a clearly defined goal, or what I call the ‘One Goal’.
Avoiding the “Away-from” Thinking
Let’s address a common misunderstanding – not all team members constantly operate with a clear goal in mind. More often, an “away-from” mentality prevails: people striving to escape discomfort rather than moving toward a positive goal. This mindset can be likened to a vague GPS direction – without a clear route, employees become overwhelmed, and the organisation suffers. According to a Gallup report, only half of all employees know what is expected of them at work, a statistic that highlights the dangers of this “away-from” thinking.
Believing in Your One Goal
Besides clarity of your goal, your personal belief in its achievability is crucial. Ask yourself:
- How strongly do you believe in your One Goal?
- Do you have enough influence to achieve it?
Give yourself honest answers. If you’re not 100% behind the goal, you should adjust it or even change it. Here, the golden rule applies: “Love it, change it, leave it.”
Winning Others’ Belief
In addition to your own conviction, you should win others’ belief in your One Goal. Ask yourself:
- How does your leadership team feel about your One Goal? Do they support it and believe in it?
- How well does the majority of your team receive the One Goal?
- Do the stakeholders support the goal and believe in its achievability?
Crafting a Strong One Goal
To define a strong One Goal, you should proceed systematically and invest time. It’s well-invested time. The better the One Goal, the higher the likeability of success. Involve your stakeholders, your team, and your leadership in the process. Ask questions like, “What have we achieved in a perfect world in three years?” and observe the answers.
The Power of One Goal
The success of a transformation hinges on a clear goal. The more precise it is, the better it can guide the team and ignite the necessary energy. According to a study by Bain & Company, organisations that effectively communicate a shared sense of purpose are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. The One Goal is not synonymous with a conventional vision or a list of goals; it demands systematic procedure and active participation from everyone involved.
In the business world, it’s often assumed that everyone has a clear goal in mind. In reality, however, the opposite is often the case. A One Goal helps bridge this gap and pave the way for successful transformation. Take the time to carefully formulate your goal and align it with your mission, vision, and business success. Only then can you lead a transformation that brings about sustainable change and paves the way for future success.
Ready to refocus and re-energize your organisation?
If you’re faced with similar challenges or find yourself in need of guidance on your transformation journey, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Your René Esteban
Founder, CEO of FocusFirst