Leaders at Sea: How to Be the Lighthouse in the Fog

A business can sail to its destination or be a dysfunctional rowboat spinning in circles. It’s up to the business owner to establish a common goal and motivate the team to reach that lighthouse in the distance. 


Here are some obstacles you may face when trying to get your team aligned, followed by some solutions: 


  • Problem: Unclear Company Values: Who are you? Why are you here? What are you doing to better this world? Employees may not understand the foundational beliefs that drive the shared purpose if company values are unclear or uncommunicated. Solution: Clearly define and regularly share company values. Align policies, procedures, and reward systems with these values.



Beyond Words: Turning Your Company’s Core Values into Daily Actions  



  • Problem: Lack of Communication: This is the first imperative of good business. Communicate! Failure to communicate the company’s vision, goals, and roles can lead to confusion and a lack of direction among staff. Solution: Regularly share the company’s purpose through multiple channels and ensure that every team member understands how their role contributes to the greater goal. Encourage feedback and be open to discussions about the company’s direction.


  • Problem: Inadequate Leadership: Leadership is critical in setting a shared purpose. Inadequate leadership can result in a disconnection between the company’s objectives and its employees’ actions. Solution: Leaders should lead by example, articulate the company’s purpose clearly, and inspire employees to follow that lead. They should also be approachable and willing to engage with their staff at all levels. Be eye-to-eye, even when it’s tough. Show basic human respect at all times.


  • Problem: Resistance to Change: People often resist change, which can pose a challenge when trying to align them with a new or evolving company purpose. Solution: Address the reasons behind resistance to change. This can involve engaging with employees to understand their concerns and providing the necessary support, such as training and resources, to help them adapt. 


There is no “box” when hiring in today’s world  




  • Problem: Siloed Departments: We all have our tasks, and sometimes it can feel like we get lost in them, losing perspective on what’s beyond us. Fostering a unified purpose across the organization is challenging when departments work in isolation. Solution: Encourage cross-departmental projects and communication. Establish interdepartmental meetings to share goals, progress, and insights.


  • Problem: Ineffective Onboarding Processes: New employees might not be appropriately educated about the company’s purpose during onboarding, leading to a disconnect. Solution: Try to put yourself in the shoes of your new hires. Imagine every detail that might confuse them. More importantly, communicate with them consistently to ask them what they need and what they don’t understand. Develop a comprehensive onboarding program that emphasizes the company’s purpose and values from day one. 


  • Problem: Misalignment Between Personal and Company Goals: Employees may lose focus and motivation if they feel their goals aren’t considered necessary. Solution: Find ways to align personal employee goals with company objectives where possible and show employees how achieving the company’s purpose can also fulfill their professional aspirations. Establishing a transparent incentive system that rewards employees who go the extra mile will pay off for your business and your employees.



Tasks You That Can Delegate to Your Virtual Employee   




  • Problem: Lack of Connection Between Employees: As the work world changes and remote staff take on crucial roles in more companies, connections can lapse if not actively fostered. Solution: Team building isn’t just about occasional retreats or group activities; it’s about creating opportunities for employees to connect on a deeper level. This could be through collaborative projects, cross-departmental initiatives, or social events. Team building strengthens relationships, breaks down silos, and fosters a sense of camaraderie that can be incredibly powerful in driving team performance.


I’d love to chat if you’re interested in discussing your staffing issues and what solutions are available. Click here to set up a time at your convenience. 




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