What are your top three priorities?

Since the founding of Good Leadership, the rigor in how we improve executive teams comes from consistency of approach. The decision to repeat certain techniques over and over again allow coaches to uncover patterns that provide teachable moments. This approach is an equally-intense look into the “relationship capital” of an executive team and the “structural integrity” of the group. Relational capital is about the sense of sincerity – the care and concern leaders have for one another. Structural integrity determines how well the team is set up to succeed – clarity of goals & roles so the team can build plans and solve problems together.

Understanding Relational vs. Structural aspects of a team.

Relational: our coaches consistently ask leaders How are you feeling today?  For months, the #1 answer has been “anxious.”  This anxiety comes from:

  1. Uncertainty about the future
  2. Inability to answer simple questions
  3. Underlying feeling of exhaustion that comes from working from home
  4. Drifting sense of focus in the business.

Structural: It’s that last thing – item 4 – that deserves your utmost attention right now. For ten years, Good Leadership has also been asking the C-level team members this question: “What do you think are the top three priorities for the next 12 months for this team?” The “drifting sense of focus” comes from the number 1.28.  We’ve discovered the norm for executive teams answering the question “what are your top three priorities”  is that you will get 1.28 answers x the number of people on your team. That means if you have:

  • 10 people on the team, you will get 13 (12.8) different answers to the “top three priorities” question
  • 5 people = 6 different priorities (6.4)

Why? Despite the fact that direct reports are talented executives, they are also fundamentally self-directed – self-directed by their own priorities. It’s human nature. And that human nature is exponentially multiplied by working from home.

What can you do today?

What this means is your team needs you to press PAUSE, and create a conversation about Focus, Prioritization, and Metrics, that will help people feel connected and effective. That’s what good leaders do.

For the sake of your organization, I hope the rule of 1.28 does not apply to you. But I’m willing to bet that it does…the most important thing to do now is to create the clarity that will help you get better results, faster (and easier.) Email us to learn how our team of coaches can align your team around their most important goals.

Paul Batz

Paul Batz is CEO and Founder of Good Leadership Enterprises. He is an inspirational leadership coach, best selling author and professional speaker. His Good Leadership blog is recognized as one of the top leadership posts in America today.