Manager's Corner: The One Thing

Manager's Corner
The One Thing

Unlike the movie City Slickers in which Billy Crystal's character realizes that "The One Thing" in life that will make you happy is different for everyone, in business, we must make it very clear to all of our employees what The One Thing is we're trying to achieve as an organization. If we don't, our employees may inadvertently waste tons of time, money, energy, and other resources by working towards other things.
The need to talk about The One Thing (or for those of you familiar with my passion for Strategic Planning--your Vision) struck me head-on again last week. I was working with several new clients on various issues ranging from Marketing Strategies to Time Management Techniques, and each client's core problem, once properly identified, led to the same issue: these client's employees don't know what their respective organization is really trying to achieve, so the employees don't really know how they fit it, so they can't really help as effectively as they should. However, management didn't see it that way--they thought the employees really didn't understand their jobs or worse--just didn't care.
Take this simple challenge, walk around and ask five to ten random employees, "What is the number one thing this organization is trying to achieve?" If you get roughly the same answer from each of the employees, you've done an excellent--and I mean excellent--job of communicating your vision and creating focus for your employees. If your question is answered with confused looks, "I don't knows", or five to ten different answers, you've not yet done the one thing employees need from you to help them do their jobs well--direction, focus, a target (i.e., a Vision).
Let your employees know specifically what it is you want your organization to achieve and how their jobs fit in. Let them know how each job can help move your organization closer to its vision. Let them know what "The One Thing" is--don't make them figure it out for themselves. This isn't a movie--it's your business.

Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC. WBS specializes in Strategic, Business, and Succession Planning, as well as employee and leadership training. Contact: or 717-597-8890