How to Create a Common Goal For Your Team
Being a native Texan, I know the story well and have visited that hallowed ground many times. The birth of a nation (Texas was it’s own country at one time) was partially born in that place. For those of you that don’t know the story, in 1836, barely more than 100 brave men from around the United States and Texas including Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie and Colonel William B. Travis defended the old Spanish Mission-turned-fort, against over 6000 Mexican troops. Overwhelming odds to say the least. Their main purpose was to delay the attacking army long enough for General Sam Houston to train his new army.
Every single man defending the Alamo died in the final battle. None were spared. This act inspired the cry that may have been the turning point in the war. The Texan army was so angry that in the final battle of the Texas Revolution, the deafening cry of ‘REMEMBER THE ALAMO’ was echoing throughout the battlefield just east of modern day Houston. The Texans were inspired by the bravery of their fallen brothers and made sure that they won that final battle resoundingly. The Republic of Texas was born.
This story makes me think of something I often see missing from companies and teams as I begin to work with them. You could call it a “rallying cry” or a common goal; something everyone can get behind and support with resounding effort. One of the best ways to create an aligned and cohesive team is to have everyone working for a common goal.
Here are a few steps to creating a common goal and having your team rally around it:
Make sure the purpose/goal is important to everyone. It can’t be just “your” goal, the team needs to align with it, see it as theirs, see their part in achieving it, and to own it. Ask for feedback from key team members when forming the ideas.
Make sure the goal is broadcast to the world! Posters need to be put up. Emails need to be sent. Meetings need to be had. Every single member of the company needs to know where they are headed. Updates to the goal are shared constantly. Checking in and having everyone see if you are on track will keep your team connected, accountable and committed.
Make sure everyone sees their part of impacting the goal. For example, if Shirley from accounting doesn’t do her job, we don’t have good numbers to track and manage toward the goal. If Bob from IT doesn’t do his job, we can’t use some of our tools. This is a TEAM effort.
Finally, make a reward that is equal in stature to the accomplishment. Tell them what they are playing for! If your goal is to double in size as a company and you are already a good size company, make sure it is a good size goal! It has to be something that your troops on the front line will care about. Don’t make it just about money. Make it an experience that will last a lifetime. Take a trip, give out a car, BLOW THEIR MINDS. That’s what inspires people.
A united front is the first step in creating a truly high performing team. Gather your army. Train them well. Show them the prize. Then find your own ‘battle’ cry.