The most common challenge leadership teams encounter as they learn to IDS™ (Identify, Discuss, Solve) issues is that they move straight to discussion without identifying the root cause of the issue. There is only one difficulty with that approach – the issue is merely a symptom of what is truly happening. If you start discussing right away, you will most likely solve the wrong issue.
Every session with one of our Leadership Teams starts with what we call the “Check In,” which generally consists of several questions that help us transition from working “in” our business to working “on” our business. One question is always, “What are your expectations for today?”
I check in after each member of the Leadership Team is done. And my ongoing expectation is always, “Please be open and honest – just say it.” And this is one of the most difficult behaviors for a Leadership Team to exhibit – for lots of reasons.
“The roads of the world are paved with squirrels that couldn’t decide.”
This insight was shared by a fellow EOS® Implementer at our quarterly gathering in Detroit in February. It paints a very clear mental picture, doesn’t it? The ability to make a decision is one of the characteristics of all great leaders. Some people are great at making decisions; others find it challenging.
Decisions exist on two levels – intellectual and emotional. Our intellect tells us we “should” do something — expand our business, resolve that personnel issue, refine our marketing plan, work fewer hours, reduce overhead.
When I first define The Process Component™ for entrepreneurial leadership teams, it is not uncommon to see some eyes roll at the thought of documenting the company’s Core Processes.
The word “document” is what gets people’s attention. They envision lengthy procedural manuals that, while well intended, require extensive work to develop and eventually sit on a shelf and gather dust. No one ever refers to them, and most employees don’t even know they exist.
Making decisions as you and your Leadership Team work on your business is a thoughtful process. And during that process, doubts most likely creep into your thinking periodically.
Doubts are those nagging feelings of uncertainty, where you may question a belief or hesitate to take action. Doubts generally make us uncomfortable. They leave us feeling anxious. After all, we’re entrepreneurs, leaders, managers – we’re supposed to be decisive and have all the answers at our fingertips. Right?