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Embrace a Velocity Mindset with Your Team

This article was based on episode 184 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Get one of three available copies of The Velocity Mindset audiobook when you become a member at themodernmanager.com/join.


When you hear the word “velocity”, what do you think of? For me, the first thing that comes to mind is speed. But it’s more than that. In physics, velocity is produced by multiplying speed with direction. In business, velocity tells us we need to know where we’re going and why we’re heading in that direction. Otherwise, speed alone will lead to burn out. Ron Karr joins me to discuss transformational lessons from his latest book, The Velocity Mindset, How Leaders Eliminate Resistance, Gain Buy-in, and Achieve Better Results—Faster. Ron shares clear ways we can guide our teams to gain a clarity of purpose and also get quickly to where we really want to go.

START WITH THE DESTINATION

It’s one challenge to be moving quickly without a clear direction. Of course, the more specific our goals, the easier it will be to achieve them. But Ron points out that we often get stuck in the past when trying to chart the future. It can feel intimidating to envision something new and bold. Therefore, we may have direction, but it’s not meaningful. Ron suggests ‘The Clean Piece of Paper’ exercise. Take out a fresh piece of paper. Instead of thinking about recycled, safe ideas, write down what you dream of accomplishing. What do you really want? What’s your destination?

You Don’t Need To Know How To Get There

When tackling something big or entering uncharted territory, there’s so many unknowns. That’s okay. You don’t need to have everything mapped out beforehand. Get comfortable with figuring things out as you go. Ask questions, ruminate on solutions, collect information, and experiment with ideas. It’s not about knowing the entire route, but about staying with a clarity of vision and commitment to making it happen. The passion you have for your final goal will help get you back on track when things inevitably get thrown off.

ENGAGE YOUR TEAM

Whenever possible it helps to engage your team in the process of envisioning the future. But sometimes, goal setting is our responsibility, or, we’re handed goals from those above us. In these cases, it’s still important to engage your team. Ask them for ideas, strategies, and approaches that could help achieve the vision. Listening to their input will also get them excited to be co-creating the journey.

In addition to brainstorming solutions, I believe in the power of “question-storming”. Give your team the opportunity to throw out as many questions they can think of that relate to reaching your goal. This will help you identify potential roadblocks, needed resources, information to gather, etc.

Connect Your Goals to What Your Team Cares About

You don’t get buy-in by telling people what to do. Instead, learn what your team values on an individual basis. Present the destination in context to what’s important to them. When your team sees how succeeding in the group goal will help them reach their individual dreams, they will be doubly motivated to get to work.

THE ART OF THE PAUSE

Once we get moving, it’s hard to stop and reconsider whether we’re on the right path. Yet if we keep pushing full steam ahead when things aren’t working optimally, we waste resource and eventually burnout. Ron suggests holding a “board meeting with yourself” every so often to pause and consider. Imagine you were advising yourself. Look critically at what’s working, what’s not, and what you could be doing differently.

This same approach can be used as a team. Consider scheduling team meetings at least once a year to pause and reflect. Unlike traditional after action reviews or post-mortems, Ron discourages evaluating what didn't work. That just leads to finger pointing and sucks the creative momentum out of any meeting. Instead, start with what worked and how you can build off those successes. On a scale from 0 to 10, where does your team think they currently are in pursuit of their goals, and where do they want to be? Without adding any negative emotional energy to the discussion, discuss what you could do more of or what new actions you could take to get there.


EMBRACE THE VELOCITY MINDSET


Speed is an amazing thing, but it’s only useful if we’re going in the right direction. Figure out your destination. Don’t worry if you don’t know yet what route to take to get there. Ask questions, ruminate, experiment, and try again. Get your team bought-in by learning what they care about and making them copilots in the journey. Remember to take time to pause and reconsider, so you don’t end up flying in the wrong direction. With this clarity of vision and approach, we can harness a Velocity Mindset, creating unstoppable teams that move quickly to achieving our dreams.


KEEP UP WITH RON


Get one of three available copies of The Velocity Mindset audiobook when you become a member of the Modern Manager community at themodernmanager.com/join.


This article was based on episode 184 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.


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