Would you describe your current strategy as comparable to what the early settlers did when they came under attack?  They would circle the wagons to form a 360-degree perimeter defense to better employ their resources and provide a better chance of survival against the attack.

This is a valid technique when traveling through dangerous territory, but it is not an adequate long-term strategy.  Once the immediate danger was over, the settlers would quickly resume traveling toward their original objective, despite the danger of another attack, to get to more friendly territory.  They knew that if they sat still long enough, the enemy would return in larger numbers and finish the job.

Although defending against their enemy’s attacks is certainly required, reaching a destination on the other side of dangerous territory with their resources to accomplish the greater mission is the wagon train’s primary objective, and everyone clearly understands that from the beginning.

Does your team know what the greater mission is and what resources are needed to get them there?  Do they understand that they are currently in dangerous territory and although you may be circling the wagons for a brief period that this is not the strategy for success?

When everyone on the team understands this, there is a sense of urgency on everyone’s part to get the wagon train moving forward again toward the main objective.  When individuals do not understand this concept, they will be content to sit in the circle as it provides them some sense of security, albeit a false one.

If you are finding it hard as a team to leave the relative safety of the circled wagons posture, it is likely you do not have agreement on what direction you need to go.  As a team, evaluate the following statements on a scale of 1 to 4 (4 being “Strongly Agree”).

  1. We have agreement on where we want our team to be in 5 years.
  2. We know the major action steps we need to take this year and this quarter to get us to this common vision.
  3. We know who is accountable for each major action step.

From your team’s response, you may discover that obtaining a guide to help navigate through this territory would contribute greatly to mission success.

This is Jason Walker sharing an Elite Team INSIGHT.