Leadership Insights

Equipping People with 3 Key Answers

February 21, 2017 | Rick VanDermyden

A thought on equipping I’d like to share with you. We talk about being able to equip leaders, and we certainly want to do that. We talk about equipping our team, and we want to do that as well. What always comes to my mind when I think about equipping others, as a leader, is making sure I have the right tools, resources, and systems available for my team so they can perform at their best. Having all of these is necessary. We need to make sure that we prepare tools, training, resources, systems and money to fund it all.

There’s another area, though, that I’m really finding is helping a lot of leaders that I’m working with. It’s to go back and re-emphasize the importance of equipping people with our vision. Here are three ways that we can equip people with our vision:

  1. First they need to know where we are going. What does that look like and really what’s the problem we are trying to solve in the world? What’s our organization doing to make the world better and different? This is one area that I think we need to do a better job of equipping our people with. What’s the vision for where we’re going?
  2. The second area revolves around the behaviors we expect. What are the core values of the organization? Not just where we are going, but what is the behavior we’re going to exhibit on the way to getting there? I think we can equip our people better by helping our people discover their values and how they tie into the organization’s values. Not that they should be the same, that’s a whole other conversation. However, when we are able to show them values that overlap or coincide, they will be able to be at their best.
  3. The third area in which we need to equip our people is letting them know what they do matters. We need to not only catch them in the act of doing things right, doing their job right, I think we need to also catch them in the act of doing things which point to the organizational values. What are they doing that’s in alignment with the company values, and then how does what they do every day matter to the vision?

I was once working with a group of meteorologists and learned that they actually serve the military. They had been under a leadership that didn’t help them see how what they did mattered. Then, once leadership changed, the new leader explained to them that while they were working in their cubicle, in Monterey, the information on weather forecasting they generated is used by our military pilots all over the world. Connecting what they did to the mission of the military reinvigorated the workforce. They started to realize that what they did in their office at work mattered to a pilot who’s about to take off on the other side of the globe. They realized they need to do what they do really well.

So ask yourself and your team the 3 questions:

  • What is our vision?
  • What are our values?
  • How does what we do every day matter in achieving our vision?

As you lead your organization, make sure you equip them with the answers to these questions. It will affect your ability to lead and their understanding of the larger picture of the organization.

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