Pivot and focus are marks of a good leader

PIVOT: 3 Steps a Good Leader Takes to Focus a Team

leadership team development Mar 19, 2021

Have you ever felt lost?

A good leader does his best to keep his team’s focus on the key metrics. If he doesn’t, his people are prone to feel lost, aimless, and unproductive.

It’s like deciding to explore a new city, but without a GPS to show us the way. Confusion and frustration quickly cloud the initial excitement when we don’t know which direction will get us to our destination.

I have worked with many teams that felt aimless and confused about which direction they should go, because they didn’t have a team agreement on their key objectives to show them the way.

They needed a team pivot.

What Is a Team Pivot?

A team pivot is a process of aligning the team around key metrics, measures, or key objectives. A good team leader shifts the team from aimless to focused by defining the new direction. He expects team members to agree to the same rules of engagement and work together to reach their goals.

Are you a team leader who wants to keep his team engaged and productive? Then pivot your team often because if you do not, your team might end up at the wrong finish line, costing you time, money, and your people’s well being.

How to Pivot a Team?

A good leader is mindful of a simple principle. No one follows a leader who lacks clarity, confidence, and courage. If you are not sure of that, consider a time when you chose to stand in agreement, even if not unity, with your boss simply because you trusted that they had your best in mind.  

As followers, we know what we want from our leaders. Research around the needs of the followers shows that we want good leaders to:

  • Build trust with us (speak the truth)
  • Show us compassion (care, sincerely and thoughtfully)
  • Offer us stability (bring a sense of calm)
  • Bring hope to us (inspire towards new goals and a brighter future)

As you help your team clarify its key metrics and the critical steps they need to take, run every interaction with your people through the grid of these four needs of the followers. Find a way to bring the truth, deep care, sense of calm, and inspiration to your team members and your team will lean in and engage.

1-2-3 of a Good Leader Who Pivots

1. Have a regular team cadence to review critical numbers

Your meetings don’t have to last long, but it’s important your team meets regularly. It’s the most efficient forum for the entire team to see a clear picture of their collective performance. As one of my client’s likes to say, “a good leader finds the smallest amount of time to cover what they need to do with your team.”

2. Look for agreement on critical actions

Welcome everyone’s views. Take the time to explore them. But at the end, decide on the most critical actions and expect your people to show a united front to the rest of the company.

3. Update your team often

A good team leader will err on the side of brief but frequent updates to keep the team focused on “the main things” to eliminate any confusion.

Take the Challenge

Here is a challenge for you if you are wanting to shift your team from aimless to laser focused on its key metrics and the overall “why” of the team.

Go back to the last email you sent to your team. Read it. Did you meet your people’s expectations and needs? Did you communicate the truth, deep care, sense of calm, and inspiration to your team members along with the hard facts?

How could you address those four needs of the followers better next time?

Many good team leaders we have worked with, know the power of a team pivot through our High Performing Team Program

If you’re looking for more ideas around getting the most out of your team, download a copy of the Executive Guide to Healthy Teams.

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