Can You Answer These 3 Questions?

Has your organization clearly defined its destination, strategy and purpose?


Melissa Gordon, founder and president of EchelonCommunicate, shares three key questions she encourages all leaders to ask themselves when setting goals:

1) Where are we going? 
2) How will we get there?
3) Why do we want to be there?

Watch the video to discover how these key questions can drive your team to more effectively achieve its goals. 

Every leader needs to be able to answer three key questions. "Where are we going? How will we get there? And why do we want to be there?" Destination, where are we going? Strategy, how will we get there? Purpose, why do we want to be there?

So I got hired to do an assignment to make the leaders more inspiring. And this was in a company of people who were largely engineers who tend to be concrete problem solvers. Women who want to get things done, men who want to have impact and the way they see having impact is results. And so the human piece of it, the kind of, "How do I bring people along with me?" They were not so skilled in that, they were not so schooled in it. But what ended up happening was the thing took like a wildfire.

I had been doing a lot of mission-vision workshops and they would always get to this point where they would be this debate about which is the mission and which is the vision and which is the long term and which is the take the hill, what's aspirational and what's . . . and I said, "We're just going to move along from that," and we coined some new terminology and we made it really simple. "Where are you going, How will you get there? Why do you want to be there?"

Destination, where are you going? Why do you want to be there? That's purpose. How will we get there? That's strategy. We go from current state to the destination. And it got a lot easier because the destination is a place, it feels tangible. We're trying, and it includes the vision. So everything is powered by purpose, everything is powered by purpose. And when we create shared purpose, and when we articulate shared purpose, we all get to be part of it.

And so what I thought happened in this very closed-door organization, where they felt like they would share the strategy for about a one-hour webinar once a year, and they felt like, "This is the family jewels. We can't be having these documents rolling around. This is our competitive advantage. We can't have the strategy out there."

So in the course of the project, what we did was we wrote destination and strategies for every business in the organization, created an enterprise map and for the first time ever, first of all, everybody could see who reported to who, which was also something that was protected information, and they could see, "This is our vision. This is where we're going. This is what we're committed to," in human language, not copy written, not advertising. Real executives, real leaders, working with their little mini-team to create some meaningful message that said, "This is what we're about."

So you can imagine in a matrix organization, people have a lot of dotted lines and now they could see what each of the leaders they worked with and what each of the groups worked with really stood for, and it was just powerful.

Melissa Gordon

Melissa Gordon is President and founder of EchelonCommunicate, LLC, the Leader’s communication company. Working at the intersection of great leadership and powerful communication, Echelon provides high impact learning programs, execut...

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