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Test your WHY

4 mins 24 secs

Driving Business Growth Through Your Managers Series
Part 3 of 6

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Winston Churchill said that the difference between mere management and leadership is communication.

But leadership is much more than communication, yet communication is central to leadership.

Leadership is about taking ownership and leading from the front, and then being able to communicate with your people, to be able to listen, to understand, and then also to be able to influence.

This begs the question, what is it that you are asking your managers to lead?

When we meet with clients, we love to walk the floor. We meet people at every level in the business, whether it’s a business owner or a board member through to middle managers, supervisors, and also team members.

One of the things that we’re trying to get a feel for is to try to understand whether or not everybody understands what the mission and vision of the business actually is and very importantly, why it matters.

The acid test is whether your people have to stop and think about it. If they say things like, “Yeah, it’s on the wall over there somewhere.” Or, “I remember doing something about that, but I couldn’t say what it is.”

If you hear things like that, then you know that there’s a deeper lying problem.

Leadership and management have a responsibility to sell the mission and vision to the business.

If they don’t understand the mission and the vision, then what hope do they have of encouraging the rest of the team to understand to. A business can only really grow when all the people that are involved in making it work, understand the reason why you do what you do and who it is that you serve and what those customers and clients actually get from engaging with you.

Two of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs in recent times, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, both had really clear missions and visions for their businesses.

  • Steve Jobs wanted Apple to make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that’s advance humankind.
  • Bill Gates had a mission of seeing a computer on every desk and in every home. Not only did these statements make it clear to their employees and to their customers of who they were and what they stood for, they were the underpinnings of the commercial success of their business.
  • Jo Malone, the British entrepreneur puts it well when she said, “If you wake up each morning with a drive rooted in the passion of what you do, rather than a passion for the money you can make, you’re on a wise path.”

Having a clear mission and vision acts as True North for your business. It helps you to focus on where you’re going and it gives your managers something to lead.

So it’s important that you pressure test what you’ve already got.

Is it fit for purpose? Do the statements make sense? Can people articulate them easily and clearly?

Listen across your business at every level and establish whether your people actually care about who you are on what you stand for.

Get clear on who you are and what you stand for

Motivational speaker

If you'd like to test your business' WHY, and make sure you have a Mission and Vision your business can get behind, we'd love to hear from you.

Motivational speaker