Picture this: you are hurrying to a sporting event, but you are late. You walk into the stadium thirty minutes after the start of the game.
As you take your seat, you start to ask your friend how the game is going, but before they can answer, you already know. With just a glance, you can see exactly how many points have been scored and how much time is left on the clock.
Because in the middle of the stadium, there is a huge brightly lit scoreboard telling you!
But that is not all the scoreboard tells you. By giving you a snapshot of the score, the board tells you how the teams have been playing, how well their strategies have been working, and what they must do in order to secure a victory. This crucial cross-section of the game tells coaches, players, and viewers where to change and where to hold steady.
John Maxwell says, “I’m often surprised by how many people outside sports try to succeed without a scoreboard.”
Do you look at your scoreboard?
We all have goals – consider the goal as the destination. We all need to know where we are in order to get where we are going, and we need to know if the path we’re on will get us there so we can make the changes we need to.
This applies to the family who wonders where their money goes but does not put a budget together.
This applies to the business owner who wants to scale their business but does not track sales or run a balance sheet.
And it applies very much to the organizational leader who wants to accomplish the business’s goals, but does not take stock of the company’s numbers to see if their approach is achieving anything.
As you lead, your organization’s performance and the conditions it meets are ever shifting. When you stay informed, you can better plan how to proceed.
Do you share the score with your team?
As a leader, you guide a team of people who help the organization reach its goals. Because you are not the only one working toward the goal, you are not the only one who needs to know the numbers.
What you cast in vision, your team puts into practice every day. When you keep them updated, they can measure, assess, and adjust their own trajectory.
What the numbers give you is clarity – and your team needs that clarity, too.
Which kind of scoreboard leader are you?
In taking inventory, there are three kinds of leaders:
1. Leaders who do not know the numbers and therefore cannot share them with their team.
Imagine if the coach of the team could not see the scoreboard. It would not matter how much he had prepared or how well he had motivated or trained his team.
If he cannot see how his approach is faring in real time, he cannot adapt his strategy; his team cannot adapt their play.
They cannot respond to the real and dynamic conditions they are faced with. They have no chance of succeeding.
2. Leaders who know the numbers, but do not share them with their team.
Now, imagine if the players could not see the score.
They could follow their coach’s instruction, but they would have no real way to measure their effort or success. They could only guess if their effort makes a difference.
3. Leaders who know the numbers and also share them with their team.
When everyone knows where the game stands, the coach can adapt and direct, and the team can measure their contribution.
Likewise, leaders who stay informed can adjust their strategies, investments, and approaches to fit the way the “game” is going, and teams whose leaders inform them can know their work impacts the team’s goals, and they can even offer valuable insights on the best way forward.
Where do you fall among these leaders? Do you check your scoreboard? Do you share the score with your team? This week, consider how your team plays the game, and if you need to tell them how they’re faring.
That’s all for now.
Until next time,
Subscribe to Leadership for the Now
Get leadership tips, strategies and opportunities in your inbox every Friday.