How to expand success when your goals are reached
Starting any undertaking – be it a business, a project, a community initiative – takes a lot of time, effort, and persistence to be a success. It’s a hard slog to figure out how the right processes and get them sufficiently resourced. Long hours. Often unacknowledged contributions. Networking to find others with the same passion. Reaching out to and educating your audience. Getting the right team with complementary skills. All of this work can be worthwhile when the end is just in sight. Then it happens: the business is successful, the project made its impact, the initiative is up and running. Panic. Now, what!?
Once the impact has been achieved, leaders need to create a different mechanism to maintain and improve. If you don’t change your approach, it’s likely that your success won’t be maintained.
Here’s how leaders can expand their success when goals are reached:
Delegate: Your role as leader changes when the goal is reached. Shift roles and responsibilities to expand your team’s ownership of the new phase.
Leadership styles: Your style and strengths as a leader were just the right fit for the beginning of the undertaking. Now that that phase is done, another leadership style is likely better suited. It’s not a kick in the pants. It’s a pat on the back for all of your work to getting to this point. Sharing leadership increases the chances of success in the next leg of the project.
Evaluate your team’s strengths and weaknesses: The skills needed to build something from nothing are often different than the skills needed to maintain and improve. Seek out and recruit those with additional skill sets to ensure the long term stability of your team’s work.
Monitor complexity: When things are being built, there is a need to try things out, have different approaches, engage different markets, talk with different audiences. As goals are reached and impacts measured, keep an eye on how many processes you’ve got and how they interact with one another. Pay attention to scale. When the projects get bigger and the team gets larger, role confusion, role fatigue and being overworked can hamstring any project. Having multiple procedures can work in a small team. Having members of a small team wear several hats at the same time can be manageable. The same overlapping methods can wreak confusion on larger organisations. The bigger you get, the more simple and streamlined things need to be.