It is time for Stage 31 where the focus is on creating a Common Goal for the team. This is a tricky or “technical” stage in this year’s Tour de Profit. In an ideal world, your team would be motivated to help your business grow and succeed for intrinsic reasons. They would be so connected to and aligned with your vision and goals that they would want exactly what you do as much as you do.
While this rarely occurs, you should strive to create a vision and future that is so compelling that people would want to work for you to help make that happen. Even in the best of organizations, there are those who need and want external motivation to do their best work.
Since many are motivated by a challenge, it is critical to have a shared, common goal for the team. Sales managers love to create goals for their sales teams and will often use the worn out idea that all good salespeople live for the recognition and reward. The goal is designed for the sales team – not the entire organization, and because of that, often has unintended, negative consequences for the business.
Your Profit Tip of the Day
The best leaders find a Common Goal that will let EVERYONE on the team win if the goal is achieved!
Let me share with you my experience with focusing a team on a Common Goal. I had the opportunity to lead a manufacturing company with 280 team members in 2 locations doing about $30 million in annual sales. As I became the leader, the business was steady but not growing and the profitability was well below our desired level.
After several weeks of assessing the situation, I decided that what was missing was a compelling Common Goal for everyone to rally around. I had what I thought was a “clever” idea. So I called a meeting of the entire team to share my observations, thoughts, and new clever idea. We pulled together a short list of metrics that were critical for the business to grow and be more profitable and we shared the metrics and targets along with our reasoning for each with the entire team.
Then I unveiled my clever idea. I told the entire team that the first month that we achieved EVERY target on our list, I would give my car away to someone in the business! Now, remember, this was a manufacturing business where the vast majority of our team members were factory workers who were living paycheck to paycheck. The offer got their attention and their interest. Hands flew up all across the room. What kind of car is it? A 4-year-old Jeep Grand Cherokee. What color? Hunter Green. Air Conditioning? Yes. 4 Wheel drive? Yes. CD player? Yes. The questions went on and on.
At that moment, everyone began envisioning that they could be driving in the boss’s car! That car could be theirs. All they had to do was work together, hit the targets and then be lucky enough to be the 1 out of 280 to be selected.
As the weeks and months passed, the team began finding ways to work better together. Scrap and waste went down. The margin was going up. Efficiency was being improved in every area of the business. As I walked around, they would ask me “how’s my car doing”. They were “owning” my car more and more every day.
A short 5 months later, we hit our targets – all of them! We arranged for a large celebration, rented a large concert hall, invited everyone to bring their spouse and children, and catered a family-style dinner. To pick who would drive away with my Jeep, we put everyone’s name into a large barrel.
My wife then drew 20 names out of the barrel and we had those individuals to come to the stage. These were the short list of potential winners. To make things more interesting, I offered each of the potential winners $200 in cash to drop out before we drew down to the 10 finalists. One guy quickly snatched up the $200 and took a seat.
The lucky winner was a 2nd shift maintenance worker who had been with the company for over 20 years! But the best part of the night was when I had the chance to share my closing remarks. I told them that I now knew they could do anything they put their mind to – and that I expected them to make the targets every month – without question.
Here are a couple of questions for you:
● What is your Common Goal?
● What is everyone in your organization focused on?
● Is it compelling? Is it motivating?
● Does it create a sense of teamwork that will lead to success?
I’m not suggesting you give your car away. I’m not suggesting you have to come up with a clever idea. If you do, great! I would love to hear it. Today is all about creating a Common Goal for your team. I can assure you, if you get it right, magic will happen!
If you’re looking for more success and freedom from your business, join my FREE, private Facebook Group called The Peloton. It’s where business owners like you are learning, sharing and working together to get better every day! Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jointhepeloton/
Come on – join us! And remember, whatever you do, RIDE HARD!