Provide context to bridge the gulf

There is a gulf between what we think our team knows and what they actually know. Not talking about their technical skills. I am talking about real time information on projects, the organization, strategies, mission, the broader competitive marketplace, etc. We think they know what the mission of the organization is and why it’s important, but likely they don’t. We think they know the strategies of the organization and why those strategies are important, but likely they don’t. Why does the gulf matter? If your team is unclear or uninformed, they can’t possibly provide their best work. They can provide good work, or even great work, but not their best work. Best work comes from context, and leaders must provide that context. Repeatedly. That is the key. It matters how you say it, but it also matters how often you repeat it and put it into different contexts. Here’s a tactic: Provide contextual information to your team weekly. One week, talk about mission. One week, talk about the strategies. Talk about the competitive marketplace. Talk about why the work matters. Do it over and over.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on May 10, 2019

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