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Magnets and Milestones
To execute on company strategy successfully, leaders need to focus on managing results instead of managing tasks. Yet, many leaders get stuck discussing, measuring, and listening to reports on activities. This absence of results focus is a major factor in strategy execution failures.
I discuss how leaders can drive the execution and implementation of strategy by focusing on magnets and milestones in my recent Forbes article “Are Workstreams Driving Your Strategy.”
Magnets. You must be clear about defining the work you need your team to do. This can be done by creating magnets that, if clear and complete, can guide and pull your team in the right direction. If the team doesn’t have a precise understanding of what they are working towards, it will be very challenging for them to successfully execute on the company strategy. I know you’ve seen work grind to a halt when people aren’t clear about the work to be done.
Milestones. While magnets are there to pull your team in the right direction, milestones are set in place to ensure you are on the right track throughout the process. These milestones are what leaders need to focus on – are we hitting the right markers to achieve our results versus just completing the daily tasks that might get us to our end goal. Ideally, milestones will help you know quickly if you are on track or off track, that way you can adjust accordingly.
Clearly defining the magnets and milestones is essential to informing your team members “what” to do. Once these are defined, let them figure out the “how.” This structure allows you to focus on the progress towards results and your team to focus on innovative ways to reach each milestone.
Read more about magnets and milestones in my article “Are Workstreams Driving Your Strategy.”
HighSpot
I was recently interviewed on the HighSpot podcast by Andy Champion, we talked about how to lead teams that consistently excel. It was a fun experience, you can check out the full interview here.
I also wrote an article for HighSpot on the three sales performance stumbles you should avoid. You can check it out here.
What to Gift Your Team This Year
It’s always a good idea to show your team that you are grateful for the work they do. The holiday season is an especially good time to do so. Thanking people individually for their effort and being specific about the contribution you see them making is a great place to start and everyone can do this. If you are giving gifts, be thoughtful about them. The right gesture can demonstrate your appreciation, motivate them to stay engaged, and encourage them to develop additional skills.
Here are a few gift ideas for your team this year:
  • The time and encouragement to unplug… completely
  • An extra day off to spend with their family and friends or to simply relax
  • A professional development course, or training program of their choosing for 2022
  • A monetary bonus or gift card for something they like (e.g. coffee, chocolate, little indulgences – it doesn’t need to be a lot)
  • Instead of, or in addition to, an office party, consider paying for a dinner out (or in) to spend with their spouse
Recognition, appreciation, and reward are useful year round. But around the holidays, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to acknowledge your team. It is the little things that make people want to give you the extra effort when they come back refreshed and ready to get to work in 2022.
And if you want some other ideas for gifts this year, take a look at this New York Times article, The 32 Best Gifts for Coworkers.
What are The Little Things You Do?
I arrived at my dentist for my scheduled appointment last Monday. Martine, the hygienist said to me, “Ok, Scott. We are overdue for x-rays. If you don’t complain about it you’ll get AC/DC for the entire cleaning.” We both laughed. She knows me pretty well – that I hate the x-rays, but do like hard rock and heavy metal. So, she met me in advance with something she knew would put me in a good mood.
It was a nice reminder of the small things that we can do for clients (or anyone?) that make for a good experience. Think about what you can do for your clients.
I didn’t think having a good dental experience was even possible before I went to Pearl Dental Center and met Dr. Downie. But it is!
Current Read
We all need downtime. We aren’t machines. And when we treat ourselves as if we are, we burn out. We need time that is dedicated to no particular focus or goal. This will give us the space needed for our minds to wander, and to stumble on creative solutions and innovative ideas. I used to try to squeeze every bit of productivity out of the day, but have learned overtime that having downtime and white space is vital to doing any kind of strategic work.
Next time you find yourself with an unexpected break, your phone dies or plans get canceled, take the opportunity to harness the power of downtime. Read more about how downtime can help you be more creative and productive in the Neuroleadership article We’re Doing Downtime Wrong.
Quotable
Often attributed to Lao Tzu (but this has been disputed)
Next Steps
Please forward this to anyone who may find it interesting.

Edinger Consulting