One of the most important roles of the leader is to ensure that they, and their team, are keeping their eye on the ball at all times.
That means providing clarity of focus and helping each person know which priorities require attention.
Many years ago this hit me with full force during a particularly hectic season. During this period when I was allowing myself to be distracted by a number of lesser priorities, a department head came to me with a request to re-model their office space.
The plan was within budget, it seemed to be ergonomically sound and it could likely be pulled off with little involvement from me.
There was just one problem.
That department was not performing well. It was not hitting key objectives.
Rather than focusing the team on what really mattered, I was allowing them, and me, to be distracted by a side-show.
I was taking my eye off the leadership ball.
Leaders must keep their eye on the ball at all times.
In a busy season, it’s easy for lesser activities to distract a leader, and a team, from what really matters. But ultimately, it’s the leader’s job to keep everyone focused; to keep everyone’s eye on the ball.
Here are 5 indicators that you might have taken your eye off the ball:
1. There is no alignment in your “to do” list
A clear, direct line should run between your daily activities and your most important goals.
2. Your team is vague on today’s highest priorities
Every member of your team should be able to state unequivocally how their assignments are furthering the organization’s objectives.
3. You are being sidetracked with “busy work”
Busy work are tasks you indulge in which keeps your time occupied, but which does little to advance key objectives.
4. You’ve been avoiding difficult conversations
In order to keep your team on track it requires clear conversations, where you correct mission-drift.
5. You haven’t noticed measurable movement towards key goals
If neither you, nor your team, can point to recent “wins” with respect to key goals, you’ve likely taken your eye off the ball.
Watch vigilantly for these indicators.
Because when the game really counts, your focus matters more than ever.