What does good leadership look like in 2022? How can you put your best foot forward where you work, whether you’re managing a team or an entire company? In March, we’ll plumb the topic through Q&As from top-tier industry leaders, contributions from Inman columnists (the leaders in their field) and more. Then we’ll keep the leadership conversation going in person at Inman Disconnect in late March in Palm Springs, California.
This post was last updated March 9, 2022.
Mission statements and company visions are nothing new. But so many companies get them wrong. They aren’t about quarterly objectives, sales goals or some vague mantra of being No. 1.
Rather, missions and visions are the driving force behind why you and your team go to work each day, and they determine what your team members are focused on while they are there.
I don’t know about you, but I need something a bit more inspiring than a sales goal to get me going, and I bet you and your team do too.
According to Simon Sinek, author of The Infinite Game, a just cause must be:
- For something — affirmative and optimistic
- Inclusive — open to all who would like to contribute
- Service-oriented — for the benefit of others
- Resilient — able to endure political, technological and cultural change
- Idealistic — big, bold and unachievable
At Adam Hergenrother Companies, our “just cause,” our mission (which consequently we combine with our vision) is to help leaders achieve personal growth through the success of their business. I think that checks all the boxes: for something (personal growth), inclusive (everyone is a leader), service-oriented (helping others on their growth journey), resilient (uncertain times and times of change are actually the perfect time for growth), and idealistic (growth and new levels of success are never-ending). This is the mission that we rally around in good times and in bad.
The first step is making sure you have a strong mission and vision. Once you have clarified them, it’s time to get to work using those statements as the North Star on your business and leadership journey.
Now, more than ever, we need strong and resolute leadership. The three most important roles of a leader are to cast the vision and share the mission; provide clarity, focus and direction; and remove roadblocks.
Here’s how to let your mission and vision lead during uncertain times:
1. Keep the mission and vision top-of-mind
As the leader, your mission is to share the mission and vision in every conversation, every email and on every Zoom call. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the drama of the day. I’m not saying we ignore what is happening in the world, but I am saying acknowledge it; understand how it is impacting your business your team, and the economy; and then focus on what you can control.
When people are allowing their minds to spin them out of control, it is your job as a leader to remind them why they are in business and where they are going. This can’t happen enough.
2. Provide extreme clarity and focus for your team
This is where it’s time to focus on the what and how. Six months ago, you probably had a well-laid out annual business plan that was going to help you fulfill your mission and vision. And then the world changed. You had to pivot.
Yes, it’s still important to remind your team of the long-term mission, but right now, it’s critical to take the vision and get really granular and prescriptive. The mission is still there, but it’s your job to focus the team on what they need to accomplish that week, that day, or that hour.
Sometimes that’s all the vision the team can handle. What needs to get done today to move the needle forward. You, the leader, should still be looking miles ahead, but your team? Your team needs to know what to accomplish today, feel that win and then use that momentum to do it again tomorrow.
3. Remove roadblocks
During uncertain times, the biggest roadblock your team members are going to encounter is their own energy and mindset. As the leader, you have to keep an eye on your team’s energy and help them manage the ups and downs.
Emotional fitness is a learned behavior. Doubling down on self-leadership practices like a morning routine, mediation, exercise and healthy food will keep your team feeling fueled from the inside out. This is also a great time to remind them of their personal missions and visions.
Yes, your team should rally around the company’s mission, but ideally, the company’s mission simply fuels their personal mission and vision for their life. What is their future self? Why do they want to build their career in real estate? Why do they get up each day and work with you? What is driving them?
Their own lack of clarity on what they want in life and their limiting beliefs around how to get there are roadblocks that you, as their leader, need to help them eliminate. A commitment to provide training around personal growth, mindset and self-leadership is a great practice to implement right now if you aren’t doing it already.
Even in uncertain times, the mission and vision never changes — remember they are resilient. We believe in the power of personal growth, and it is embedded in everything we do, teach, learn, and create with our employees, team members, customers, and clients, regardless of what is happening in the external world. Use your mission and vision to focus and fuel your team during crisis and change, and you will be unstoppable on the other side.
Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies