A Role and a Roadmap

I love everything about Fred’s post this morning, especially this:

… if people believe in you and your plan and have a role to play in it, they will put up with a lot of other stuff.

Isn’t that the truth?

The reality is that if the mission and purpose is strong and there is clarity from trustworthy leadership about where you “sit” on the bus and what your role is and part to play, you will go the distance (and you’ll find a way to get there together).

The problem isn’t that most startups don’t have mission and purpose; the issue is whether it is actually shared among the staff and other team members.

The founder(s) could have what they consider is a clear vision for the future but if they are unable to clearly communicate that to the people that are going to help them get there then it’ll all go to pot.

How do I know this? That’s because I’ve experienced it first-hand, not only from startups that I’ve been a part of but also startups that I’ve started myself. In both scenarios the companies went south real quick, people abandoned ship, and looked for something else that they could really sink their teeth into.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, they were looking for leaders who they could trust (in environments with healthy organizational trust too) with their most valuable asset, which we all know is their time. It is the leaderships’ responsibility:

What I am advocating for is the value of having a clear and intelligent plan, communicating it often and often, and, most importantly, mapping that plan to each team and each person in your organization.

Again, communication is absolutely key here and doing it often is typically what lacks the most. Every… single… person… matters… despite how big your organization gets.

And if you don’t treat them as real people and show that you really value their efforts, their time, their talents and give them more than just lip-service, you’ll be handsomely rewarded many times over.

You need clarity around roles, clarity around the roadmap, and you need to communicate it often, especially in a hyper-growth context where things are changing all the time.