Every business leader worth his salt wants great results. Not just adequate results or average results—roaring great results. But great results don’t just happen. Great results come when the members of your team take responsibility for what happens, when they have ownership of the process and its outcome, and when you have healthy accountability in place.
How can you build these things into the individuals and teams in your business? There are four simple steps I call the R.O.A.R. approach that can have a huge impact on bringing you the great results you’re after. But don’t be fooled. Just because these steps are simple doesn’t mean they’re easy!
Defining and communicating specifics is essential if you want team members to take responsibility in your business. When you assign a task, a step, a goal or an objective, the specific responsibility has to be crystal clear. That means asking and clearly capturing the answers to questions such as:
- Who is responsible? (If multiple people are involved make sure everyone is listed and understands their specific responsibility. Don’t leave room for: “I though you were doing that!”)
- What are the specific tasks? (Are there tasks that build on other tasks? Map out the process. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link)
- When are these tasks going to be completed? (Set specific deadlines and set predetermined progress checks)
- How will you get them done? (Do you have the resources and skills to accomplish what needs to be done? What do you need before you get started?)
- Why are we doing this? (If you don’t know why you’re doing something how do you know if you’re doing it right? Get clarification)
Make sure your team members understand the project clearly and know what they are responsible for. Then get them to commit to the task. Only if they feel ownership of the project/task will you get their best effort.
Make sure you have a process in place to check the status and monitor the execution all the way through to completion. As the leader you need to be proactive and communicate concerns. Ask great questions. “How is it going?” is not a great question. Get specific. Ask about progress. Ask about roadblocks. Ask what they need to complete their task. If changes are necessary, coach your team through the changes and teach them. Use logic rather than emotion. Always bring things back to the objectives—the “measureables.” Lead with passion, conviction, and encouragement.
The first three steps ultimately lead to results. But your job doesn’t stop there. You need to ensure that the results are met with consequences, celebration, reward, and recognition—as appropriate for the kind of results you get. This reinforces the concepts of responsibility, ownership, and accountability. Don’t let results go unnoticed. Always debrief. Keep it positive, but look at what worked best and what you’d do differently next time. Provide “feed-forward” as you evaluate behavior, competency, areas for growth and improvement. Use your results—and what led to them—as a stepping-stone to your next success.
Try this with yourself first. Then put it into practice with your team and get ready to ROAR!