How To Lead Your Team to Accomplish the Impossible

framework leadership Oct 31, 2020

You will spend a third of your life at work.

And if you’re like most people, the vast majority of that time will pass hacking your way through red tape, going through the motions, grinding. Meanwhile, there’s another gear you haven’t been able to use. It’s the one you’d get to if there weren’t so many KPIs, benchmarks, and controls you must manage as a leader in the real world. 

That’s the legacy left by fifty years of post-industrial leadership: scaling efficiencies, managing metrics, and engineering people like just another commodity.

But that simply won’t work anymore. Today’s workplace is being dramatically reinvented by digital transformation, the work-from-home revolution, and rapidly-changing customer expectations. 

Is it any wonder 85% of today’s new initiatives fail to deliver the desired outcome?

The challenges we face today can’t be met with detailed three year planning, rigid measurement, command-and-control leadership. If we’re honest, that approach never engenders more than a superficial, mercenary level of commitment. It leaves a wake of beleaguered, transactional workers who go through the motions and follow the path of least resistance.

The problem is that all the conventional approaches to leadership aren’t built for the realities you face today as a leader. Increasingly, you need a different approach that delivers clarity in the midst of uncertainty, purposefulness when facing obstacles, simplification when surrounded by complexity, and the ability to weave a compelling story that invokes the conviction of a missionary from your already-strained teams. 

You need a different approach that delivers clarity in the midst of uncertainty.

The worldwide pandemic has turned companies inside-out, forcing them to change their approach, and greatly accelerating their nascent movement to different ways of work. OKRs, a method of managing priorities that recognizes uncertainty, and Agile Methods are being deployed as ways of working to operate in this new reality. 

But implementing OKRS or Agile are not enough to meet the demands of the future. It takes a different leadership mindset, method, and way of motivating others in order to land the kind of change from businesses that our society and stakeholders desire. 

Leaders who are thriving today have discovered a way to launch bold initiatives without waiting on permission or having all the details mapped out. They’re able to solve problems that lead to outcomes that make the world a better place. They know how to make adjustments as the landscape unfolds. They cultivate high-performance from everyone on the team. And best of all, they experience the camaraderie of celebrating together at the end of a monumental, meaningful, and exhausting quest. There’s nothing like it!

During my 35-year career, I’ve experienced the thrill of start-ups as a founder, and the complexity of big corporate environments as an executive at places like Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart.  I can say with certainty that there is an abundance of opportunity to take on the kind of adventures that land meaningful change. But there is a scarcity of leaders prepared with the right mindset and methods to lead big initiatives in this new world of uncertainty and complexity. In essence, I’ve spent my career just like you, looking for ways to experience work that really matters, for myself and others. Looking back, a set of principles has emerged. Methodically, I’ve codified them into practices that can be applied anywhere. And together, they offer the power to turn your opportunities into meaningful outcomes. I call it bigQUEST. 

I’ve spent my career just like you, looking for ways to experience work that really matters, for myself and others.

 BigQUEST is a framework that guides you and your team on a path to accomplish things you might otherwise consider impossible. It shows you how to make actionable goals even in the face of unknown variables. It equips your team with the flexibility to adapt as the details unfold, while pursuing worthwhile achievements with conviction. It’s based on the pillars that exist in every significant accomplishment in the workplace: a nimble Method, a sustainable Motivation, and the right Mindset. In other words, there are certain things that characterize every successful venture. And this framework distills it all down into a guide that you can use to mobilize your team.

Do you agree that we need a different approach to leadership? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.