Tuesday Performance Tip

09 March 2021

TELL THEM WHAT TIME IT IS, NOT HOW THE WATCH WORKS

People will rise to the CHALLENGE as long as it’s THEIR challenge!

In the SEAL Teams, we learned a few decades ago how important it is to separate the WHAT from the HOW. In late December of 1989, the US invaded Panama during “Operation Just Cause.” It was the first demonstration of the US Special Operation’s capabilities on a grand scale. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, and while the ultimate operation was a success, what was revealed later was several Operators were unnecessarily wounded.

The reason for this was simple. Instead of leadership simply explaining the OBJECTIVES of the operation, they dictated WHO was going AND HOW it was going to be done. Because of this catastrophe and the LESSONS LEARNED, Special Operations changed their mission planning process.

COMMANDER’S INTENT: is a clear & concise directive of the DESIRED END-STATE. “We are going to capture General Manuel Noriega and extradite him to the United States. You will destroy his private aircraft and his private yacht to prevent escape.” If leaders get into the weeds on the specifics, they lose sight of the big picture and unintentionally bog-down the process. (Think back to our discussion on Self-Sabotage).

Why this PROCESS works:
▪ It facilitates subordinates’ TEAMWORK, INITIATIVE, and COLLABORATION amongst members across the organization.
▪ It develops OWNERSHIP & COMMITMENT to the MISSION and the PLAN. ▪ It taps into the DIVERSITY of IDEAS across a greater spectrum.
▪ It encourages the PRIORITIZATION of TASKS & ROLE CLARITY.
▪ It enriches NEW SKILL & LEADERSHIP development.
▪ It frees LEADERSHIP to focus on STRATEGIC level-thinking.

By clearly communicating the objective, organizations empower their people and drive a sense of ownership in the plan and its execution. A 100% solution handed down from leadership doesn’t hold the same weight because there is a lack of DRIVE when there’s no ownership. It’s why we treat a rental vehicle much differently than we treat our own!

What can you do today to start building COMMITMENT in your organization? Remember, the world needs HITTERS!
Quote of the Day “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – General George S. Patton
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The APG Team