In professional cycling, it's well known that the leader wears a yellow jersey. Less understood is the idea that much of the credit should deservedly go to the team members supporting the front rider. Race strategy often changes on the fly, requiring those suited up in common colors to align themselves in specific ways to generate greater speed and better course position. That they do it under intense pressure against those who ride aggressively, merge unexpectedly or form sporadic tactical alliances only makes their efforts more remarkable.
“Track right! Watch your line.”
At every stage in an event, top competitors know what to look for and what to look out for. In many ways, their mindset is not unlike what a change management leader must have in place before escorting his or her organization through a new initiative. What makes the difference is leveraging individual thought to drive behavior; and, in turn, results from wire-to-wire. Do that and you’ll go a long way to lining up your people for success; don’t and it’s likely you’ll just spin their wheels.
That’s a “shimmy” in operations that’s hard to shake.
Simply put, we see the answer in terms of employee alignment solutions. American businessman and writer Max De Pree saw it the same way: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say ‘thank you.’ In between the two, the leader must become a servant and debtor.”
That’s “the zone” you want to find. Here are four things that will help you draw the boundaries:
The bell lap has rung. Let us know your thoughts on the article and we’ll help set you straight on your next strategic initiative. Execution is everything!