1. Ask that question to everyone in your company.
2. Ask them to answer privately. Either email, Slack, or message you their answer in 200 words or fewer. Heck, they can even write it out and slide it under your door.
3. Ask them to use clear, concrete language. Ask them to be as specific as possible. Anyone caught using the buzzwords will be required to participate in a company carwash:
- thought leader
4. Give them 24 hours to return their answer to you.
5. Collect the answers. See how they overlap. See how they diverge. See how many accurately match your answer.
6. Share the answers – including your own – with everyone in your company.
7. Singularly create the company’s mission based on this feedback… not a mission statement, but a primary goal. Think soccer/football – if your whole team is working to get the ball in that goal, what’s your goal look like? (I say singularly because this is no place for a committee.)
8. Appoint someone to come up with a scoreboard that everyone in the company can regularly observe to measure your progress toward your mission.
9. Decide how you’ll celebrate when you score.
10. Get back to work… but now you all know, specifically, what the company is trying to make happen.
You may suspect everyone in your company is working toward the same goal you have in your head, but chances are you’re mistaken. Our company takes one full day each quarter to review, refine, and measure our progress towards ours. Does your company?
In this Age of Rapid Distraction, everyone in your company must be focused on the same, simple, concrete goal, and they have to know what progress they’re making toward it. Unless you ask them, how do you know if they know?
Know what else? They’ll appreciate being asked.