Can you imagine a friend calling you to play a pickup game of basketball inside a shopping mall?
That invitation would surely strike you as weird. It’s weird because to really play the game you have to have something to shoot for. If there’s no basket, it’s something other than basketball, right?
A game with no goals and no scores is a boring, confusing experience.
A work team needs something to shoot for just as much as a basketball team does. There needs to be a reason to answer the question: “Just why are we here anyway?”
Here’s what happens when there is no clear goal. Member of a team are left without direction. Participation could be defined as anything from group loitering to a collection of individuals expressing themselves as they see fit.
Some will just enjoy the status of being on a team that people know about, even if that team does no more than a second-term President with nothing more to lose. It’s the life of the celebrity that they have no other hope of achieving.
But just as a relationship based on lust can’t survive, a team with no destination point to head toward will roll off the road.
That’s what happens when there is no leadership.
When teams lack a clear outcome to strive for, members won’t be so willing to sacrifice to get to some nebulous place they can’t describe. And why should they? Would you be willing to die for a vague notion?
It’s just not inspiring.
A clear vision of the outcome will help your team achieve winning results.
When you get married, you don’t just send out invitations and hope one of them shows up to marry you. There is a specific someone you marry, someone you’ve thought long and hard about. If marriage is forever, it’s serious. You’d sacrifice to make it work. When you hit a bump in the road, you deal with it. Without a vision of the result, in this case a happy marriage, you’d look for a way out instead of a way forward.
Make your desired outcome clear. When you do, you will be able to equip and prepare your team to win. And when you know what victory really looks like, you’ll know what you’ll have to do to get there.
What are some ways your team has shown it wants to win?