The strength of an organization is in its conversations. If those conversations are all directed towards a goal, the company will move forward. When those conversations are unproductive, or focused on short-term solutions, the business stagnates.
What do I mean by conversations?
Well, Steve Jobs was a man who focused the conversations at Apple around one question: is this the most elegant product we can design? This question was asked about the way the product appeared, felt, functioned, and interfaced. Rumour has it Steve Jobs could be pretty harsh in his criticism to people presenting ideas, but it was because he was so committed to his design ethic of elegance. He knew what he wanted and would not settle for anything less. What was the result? Apple has prospered because internally the conversation has been so focused.
The best leaders are constantly interjecting what is important into the conversations of their organization.
What is important is your vision for the future
You don’t have to be as harsh as Steve Jobs, but you do have to keep reminding people to help them stay focused on the right things. This doesn’t mean blind devotion to a cause. Actually, in my experience some of the most important conversations to have are around these 2 questions:
- Why do we do that?
- Why do we do it that way?
As a leader you can ask these questions about both the organization and yourself. What can I do that will really make a difference? If what I am doing is not of great value, can I stop doing it or delegate it? Is my team aligned and committed to the goals of the organization? If not, what do I need to do?
Coaching can help you answer these questions, and focus those conversations on what is important. When you and your executives are having the right conversations, they will start happening at every level of your organization.