Alan Mulally – the former CEO of Boeing and Ford, known for turning both of those companies around – followed a formula for getting any team to work together and be successful. I heard him speak about it at the Emerge Stronger virtual conference last week. I captured his one slide for you (yes one slide – see above), and pulled out three practical applications:
One, everyone knows the plan for the team (or company) to succeed – everyone. There is absolutely no confusion by anyone on your team or anywhere in your organization. Everyone knows what must be done. Even the part-time receptionist. It means one page or one card that contains the plan (not three pages, not twelve pages, not forty-seven pages). One, short, easy to understand page. Alan used to carry it around with him on a little card and showed it to everyone. It means communicating the plan over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Communicating the plan never stops. Everyone knows.
Two, how people treat each other is crystal clear with zero tolerance. We treat each other with love, respect, listening, helping, appreciation. This means a list of specific behaviors that everyone knows and that you review at the start of EVERY meeting. Alan had these listed on the opposite side of the same card (see above) and reviewed them in leadership meetings with dozens of executives when they were losing $17 billion a quarter. Don’t tell me you don’t have time to do the same.
Three, you have a clear process and trust the process. Alan created business process reviews where every objective was color coded green/yellow/red. Everyone rated their own objective / initiative and shared the status once a week. More importantly, it was an environment of sharing where people were open about issues. No hidden issues. No secrets. And people have a spirit of helping each other solve problems. This means that you as the leader must create an environment where people can be vulnerable, open with issues, and rewarded for sharing. You must do this. Otherwise you are managing a secret.
Too simple? Well, it wasn’t for a Fortune 5 company… 😉
Now go build a #strongteam!