This article was originally published in Current Connections Winter 2020 issue.
Our organization has been working through a fair amount of change and growth. These are generally good things but nonetheless challenging. As a leader in the middle of it all, I get to see what works and what doesn’t. I’ve
noticed, for example, that the teams that thrive through change and wade through problems quickly and effectively have a common theme: they know what they are after. At Interstates, we have studied Echelon Front’s Extreme Ownership, and so we have come to call this drive and ambition Mission Clarity.
At their annual symposium, our project managers identified Mission Clarity as a major key to success. It’s a big need for the organization and makes a marked difference when we have it. Since that time, we have worked hard
to provide all of our teams with more Mission Clarity. Sometimes it comes in handoffs, but most of the time true Mission Clarity comes from teams digging deep into dialogue, working out the idea through discussion until it is
crystal clear in their heads.
Teams have to consider the basics in order to move forward: What are we doing? And why are we doing it? After these essentials are established, any bump in the road is handled more easily. Frustration goes down, performance goes up. When your team hits a snag, the solution is already there for you: just go back to the mission, make the adjustment, and keep moving.
How clear is your team’s mission?
Erik Hall, Lead Project Engineer