Archery proved difficult for me—I typically wanted to change the direction of the arrow after I released the bowstring.
New team members are like arrows: if you want them to hit the target of your expectations, spend time on your aim.
Just Focus on the Target
Early in my career, I worked in an organization with specific daily activity goals. Every morning, we came to the office at 8 am for a 15 minute meeting. The meeting agenda was simple and consistent: The leader asked each team member to report on each of these three questions in 60 seconds or less:
1) What did you learn yesterday?
2) Did you achieve your goal?
3) How may I help you achieve your goal today?
Aim Every Morning
New team members (and a lot of us who have been around for a while) need help focusing on what is important to the organization. It is easy for any of us to become distracted by rush‑hour traffic, a situation at home or even at a comment we just read on Facebook. Leaders make a big impact on the growth and success of their organizations by simply helping team members focus on organization goals every morning.
Although the questions may differ for each job, consistent (daily) simple questions drive home the impact the leader expects with the team member. The questions require the team member to consider their performance, the goal and what to change. As a leader, let your team member think for themselves. The more they think, the more they commit to change. If your data system provides reports, make sure the team member pulls the report for the morning meeting. The team member needs to own their performance, not you.
Recently, I spoke with a leader of a call center that calls to thank donors. Here are the three questions he asks his callers:
1) How many connects did we have with donors yesterday? (Connects are a real-time telephone conversation.)
2) What is your goal?
3) How can I help you achieve more today?
His team members know what he expects with the morning meeting. It is clear. It is concise. It is powerful.
Aim Early, Aim Often
Leaders ask: Don’t the same three questions get old?
Every morning, the answers are new. The stories give insight. For the leader, focus on your people—the three questions are merely a tool to help team members achieve more. Every day is an expensive treasure for your organization, help your team members make the most of its moments. Each day is like a new shot with an arrow and, as a leader, you’re the archer.
And every archer knows the difficulty of changing an arrow’s direction after it leaves the bow.