How to build commitment, set expectations and focus your team

Get everyone on your team heading in the same direction

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Last time we wrote about clarity …

Making choices to focus and simplify your business. This is the most important work of the Executive Team.

The key lies in answering the 7 Essential Clarity Questions. Then it’s about over-communicating these through all the layers of your organisation.

Now it’s time to get every team in your business focused and heading in the same direction.

Cohesive teams that understand what they must do to make the business successful are precious.

Focus, discipline and simplicity are key. So is trust.

In short …

  • Your team must know what to focus on.
  • It must understand its purpose.
  • People on your team must trust one another.

It must also have a well-established meeting discipline. One where facts and data get on the table and everyone on the team knows what’s going on.

Invariably, your success also depends on other parts of the business coming to the party. Sales depend on Manufacturing, Operations on Supply Chain, and so on.

This means your expectations of other teams must be clear and your relationships healthy.

What’s surprising is how often they are not!

All of the above takes work, coordination, and intention.

It’s all part of the discipline of execution.

It’s work that requires Executives to roll up their sleeves and to get stuck in. Some Executives don’t like doing this. They think their main job is to set the strategy.

It’s not actually.

Far more important is working out the detail of how results will be achieved.

Not to mention getting people fired up.

This means translating the high-level stuff into clear performance goals. It also means setting clear expectations. Guidelines for how departments will work together and how people will behave.

A tool I have found very helpful in making this happen is the Team Charter.

We’ve developed and refined it over several years as a result of working with countless teams and Executives.

Executive Team at Work

The Charter is organised under 3 main headings … Purpose, Results, and Behaviours.

It captures what the team’s highest priorities are. It’s a promise from the team to the business. It’s where the team says, “this is what you can count on us for.”

The Charter is also used to set expectations with other departments.

Too often ‘Department A’ has no clue what ‘Department B’ is striving to achieve. In most cases, very little attempt has been made to clarify goals or synchronise activity.

Sharing the Charter and using it to set expectations solves this problem.

Simplicity is vital.

The key is that everything is on a single page and everyone on the team is part of creating it.

This makes the buy-in so much higher.

Finally, the Charter helps with team meetings. It offers a template for a simple, yet effective weekly meeting structure.

One that encourages transparency and accountability.

It guides the flow of the meeting … and it’s used for identifying those areas that need special attention. What’s more, it is a living document that is constantly being updated.

Teamwork, at the end of the day, is not complicated.

Nothing about what a team needs to do to perform is hard to understand.

The hard part is showing up every day and doing it.

For a busy Executive, the Team Charter makes the hard work much easier to do.

Ultimately, it also does the most important job of all. It gets everyone onto the same page and it keeps them there!

Would you like to use the Team Charter for your team?

Please mail me at or comment below. I’d love to share it with you!


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