Establish Role Clarity for a Winning Culture

What is your critical role?


Andy Stanley, best-selling author and founding pastor of North Point Ministries, explains that team members need to have a clear understanding of what they do for their organization. A clear understanding of their role will help them be more successful team members and lead to success for the whole organization.

Where do you fit in? What is your unique contribution? Answering these vital questions for you and your team allows you to work from your "critical role"—the things that only you can do. Andy discusses the empowering exercise of creating one-sentence job descriptions.

Watch this video to see Andy's tricks to creating clear, concise team roles.

In light of what you are doing, whether it's your division, your department, your company, your branch, your entire industry. In light of what you are doing and in light of why you are doing it: Where do you fit in? Specifically, what's your critical role? What's the thing that if you don't do it, it doesn't get done and if you do it well, it almost doesn't matter what else doesn't get done.

What is your unique contribution? In light of what you are doing as a company, in light of what you are doing as an organization: what is your unique contribution? Where do you fit in? Where are you critical? What is your core responsibility?

So on my little 3 x 5 card, I kept these questions in front of me for over 18 years. What are we doing? Oh yeah. Why are we doing it? Oh yeah. Andy, where do you fit in? What is your core responsibility? What is it that only you can do Andy? What is it that you got to do and if you do that well then it all works out and if you spend your time doing all these periphery things it doesn't really matter.

What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Where do I fit in?

Now, here's the important thing, in your organization whether it's a division, department, branch, whatever it is. In your organization, the answer to those first two questions are the same for everybody. And if you are a good leader, everybody who answers to you should be able to answer that question quickly, and if you're a great leader they will all answer it the same way.

What are we doing? Everybody knows. Why are we doing it? Everybody knows. But when it comes to this third question of "Where do I fit in?" -- this is where things get interesting.

So, I want to encourage you to do something that is very, very time consuming but it may be one of the most helpful exercises you ever worked through as a leader. Especially as it relates to understanding your critical role in light of what you doing and why you are doing it, and that is to create for you and to create for your direct reports and I would encourage you to expand beyond that.

As you think about the critical players in your company or your division or your department, even if they don't answer to you, is to create a one-sentence job description. And here's why that's important: because it is simple. Because in the midst of the complexity and in the midst of the crisis and the midst of the deadlines, everybody needs to understand and everybody needs to know what you think their critical role is in the midst in the organization.

If you do not clarify this for people who report to you, they will do generally whatever comes next and whatever they feel like you think is the most important in the moment.

Andy Stanley

Leadership communicator, best-selling author and founding pastor of North Point Ministries Andy Stanley inspires tens of thousands of people. Andy founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995, leading six churches in the Atlan...

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