This week, we’re going to be talking all about the silver bullet story, and what you can do, what your own silver bullet might be in order to change the game in your work. I’m going to share with you a story from one of my most important clients in the transformation he’s been leading. This is a true story and one that happened very recently, and it is one that really hits home on the importance of knowing the right moves to make as a leader.
My client is the Chief Operating Officer of a major listed company and they have operations in multiple countries and multiple time zones. They’ve been through the wringer with COVID and there’s a whole raft of changes that need to happen in this business. This business was in fix mode, was losing money, and it was in really bad shape so he had to roll up the sleeves and make some big changes. Now, we’ve been working together for quite some time, and really trying to break down all the complex issues across this business so that we can make the right moves.
So one day I was sitting down with him and said, “Look, I have this silver bullet in my hand. This silver bullet can solve any problem in your business. I’ll give you $10 million capital to spend on any project to improve the business. I’ll get you the most talented individuals in the world to come and work for you. It’ll fix supply chain issues. Anything.”
So he’s sitting there and thinking and he said, “You know what I’d take more than anything? I would take a united and aligned leadership structure, leadership team, my level and the two, three levels below that. All those leaders working towards the same outcome on the same priorities, bringing the values to life, and operating at a level doing the work of a leader, not just working in the business. That is my silver bullet.”
And I replied, “Hold on a minute. I offered you $10 million!” And quick as a flash he responded, “No because if I get the united and aligned team, I’ll make more than $10 million anyway. The $10 million doesn’t solve a problem, it just stops a leak.” But that’s what we get if we attack the root cause as that will solve a problem permanently. Due to the nature of my business, I’m often called in when there’s a bit of a challenge of the leadership team. But I’ve still yet to come across a set of leaders that are really all aligned without some challenges and it takes work.
So what’s most important here is understanding that if that is the silver bullet, and something that could really make a big difference for you, then what are you doing about it? What kind of effort are you putting in? Do you have a strategy on a page, something that was clear and simple? What’s your vision? How are you bringing your values to life? What are your key targets, where are the risks, all on one page. And when everyone is aligned to that one page, it starts to remove the ambiguity and the confusion amongst the group.
If you don’t have a strategy on a page, or if you haven’t had a chance to elicit that from yourself and your team, then that is a number one priority for you to do straightaway. Otherwise, you’re always going to be drawn into people’s issues and work that just doesn’t make a difference or have an impact in the real world.
So if you’d like a template for that, you can download one from: hpteams.com
Finally, if you want to join me in a 5-day challenge to help build that out for you, there’ll be an invite in the following link and we’ll meet every day:
Chiefs, this is the foundational element to high performance, almost like a prerequisite to high performance. If you don’t have this, you will never have high performance. And being clear as a team on the vision, mission, strategy is absolutely critical because what you will always find is when you ask people what the priorities are, there’ll be some level of confusion. So let’s come overcome that with a strategy on a page.