The Art of Strengths Coaching

M is for Making Sure Somebody Completes A Mission

CompassMilitary analogies are not always relevant to other areas of life. But one that does resonate is that of accomplishing a mission.

The key to reaching the goal is to make sure that somebody owns the mission. They take full responsibility for delivering the goods.

Such accountability is often avoided in organisations, which means that many tasks fall through the net.

Imagine you are a leader who wants several team members to work together to reach a specific goal. Here are three steps to making it happen.

You can communicate the mission

Charles Garfield, the author of Peak Performers, stressed the importance of communicating missions that motivate. People are more likely to buy into achieving a goal if they can see the point.

Great leaders bring the mission to life by outlining:

The What – the specific goal to achieve.

The Why – the specific benefits of achieving the goal.

The How – the strategies for achieving the goal, though sometimes it is important to give people some autonomy in this area.

The When – the specific date for achieving the goal.

They then often ask for volunteers who want to take part – this is the Who. They believe that one volunteer is worth many conscripts.

Imagine you want volunteers for a specific mission, such as delivering a crucial project. How can you communicate it in a compelling yet realistic way?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific mission – the task, project or activity – that needs to be completed.

Describe the specific things you can to do communicate the mission.

Slides M is for Making Sure Somebody Completes A Mission.001

Slides M is for Making Sure Somebody Completes A Mission.002

You can make sure
somebody owns the mission

The message is simple: “If you want something accomplished, make sure that somebody really wants to deliver the mission.”

Never give it to a committee or a group. You must have somebody who takes ownership for making it happen.

Different leaders have different ways of creating this dynamic. But these often take the form of encouraging somebody to volunteer for leading and delivering the mission.

You will provide all the required support, but you need one person who is accountable. Once they have stepped forward, focus on:

Clarity – the agreed picture of success

Contracting – the Dos and Don’ts involved in reaching the goals, plus the support they need to do the job.

Concrete results – the short, medium and long-term results they will deliver by when.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do to make sure that somebody takes ownership for completing the mission.

Describe the specific things you can do to make clear contracts with the person – including the support they need to complete the mission.

Slides M is for Making Sure Somebody Completes A Mission.003

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Slides M is for Making Sure Somebody Completes A Mission.005

You can make sure
somebody completes the mission

Great leaders provide whatever support their people need to accomplish the mission. At the same time, they must ensure the person who is accountable also has the autonomy and authority required to do the job.

This calls for a fine balancing act, but it is the only way that:

The mission will get completed.

The people that are accountable will feel they have the power to do what is necessary to complete the mission.

The people will grow on the way towards completing the mission.

Making this happen will enable you to sleep easier at night and also help the whole team to develop.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do to do everything possible to encourage and enable people to complete the mission.

Describe the specific benefits – for all the stakeholders involved – of people completing the mission successfully.

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