What does your team stand for and where are you headed? These are tough questions to ask, especially if you're charged with leading a team and managing performance.
If you lead a team and can't answer these questions, I'm guessing that your team suffers from that lack of clarity. How do I know? I've been there!
There are a host of things that influence the nature of a team, many of which leaders can affect. I've found it helpful to codify the things you can put a label on. Giving things a name gives them a sense of belonging. Simply put; name the things you stand for and articulate the places you're going.
My team has chosen to put this into practice by identifying a list of team values along with a mission and vision statement. Although getting to a point-of-view with these things has not come easy, it has paid dividends again and again. Here is how.
Name the things you want to grow
We started out by listing all of the things that we felt compelled to own. These were a list of attributes and ideas that resonated with the team. Giving them a name has given us a language to talk about the things we want to grow within the team.
Some of these notions stretch our individual capabilities and mindsets, but they stretch us towards unity. They anchor us in a common understanding of what it means to be a part of the team.
Name the places you're going
After we identified the attributes we wanted to own, we sifted through those attributes for clues as to how they would impact the direction and nature of our work. This lead us to flesh out a vision statement (where are we headed) and a mission statement (how will we get there).
Getting these things nailed down is anything but easy, but they give us something to rally behind. They give us focus. They guide us and inform how we interact within the team and within the organization.
Here is what we came up with:
Put the User First
We optimize first and foremost for the user through empathy and compassion.
We believe that radical collaboration drives breakthrough results.
We believe the best decisions come from a rigorous exploration of both qualitative and quantitative data.
We continually imagine a future full of opportunities and solutions, with multiple paths forward.
We openly embrace the foggy nature of designing the future.
We believe that good solutions scale over time, bend with constraints and reach into the future.
We believe that owning our craft and the challenges in front of us drive us to superior results.
Teach & Learn
Our relentless curiosity drives us to continually learn new things and we echo that learning back to those we collaborate with.
Transform Gordon Food Service into a human-centered, design-forward leader in our industry.
Elevate the execution of business & user needs through human-centered design.
If you haven't done the work of defining who you are and where you're going, there is no better time to do that than right now. You'll bring clarity, direction and unity to your team, and they'll thank you for it.