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It’s the end of 2022, and you know what that means — it’s goal-setting season.
Many of us automotive leaders find our minds wandering this time of year, envisioning all the success that will come our way in 2023 and setting goals to get us there.
But the truth is, an estimated 91 percent of people fail to achieve their New Year's resolutions. The biggest reason why? They lack an emotional connection to their goal. Knowing why you want to do something is a huge motivating factor in getting it done.
The same applies when leading a team. We in the automotive industry are great at putting together the metrics and the numbers. But achieving success as a leader is also about articulating the why.
If you really want to make a change within your company culture and achieve your goals in 2023, simply declaring a goal is not enough. You’ve got to inspire, you’ve got to show why a goal is so important and you’ve also got to break it all down with your team.
In this special episode of the Automotive Leaders podcast, you’ll learn three things you can do differently in 2023 to ensure success.
Themes discussed in this episode:
- What’s a temporal landmark and why they’re the perfect time to set new business objectives
- Why we need to look to the past to achieve success in the future
- How to inspire people around your goals and get where you want to go
- Why culture and processes are integral to getting things done
- How language makes a difference when holding your team accountable
Featured Expert: Jan Griffiths (Host)
What she does: Jan is the co-founder and president of Gravitas Detroit, an organization dedicated to cultivating authentic leadership in the automotive industry by providing courses, workshops, speaking events, and more. She is also the host of The Automotive Leaders Podcast
On leadership: “Leadership is [about] inspiring a team around more than the numbers. To be truly successful and reach the goal of a high-performance team, we have to inspire not only our team, but the people around us.”
Timestamped inflection points from the show
[0:57] The power of the restart: 2023 is about to begin, and you’re probably thinking about how you can be a better leader for your team next year. Repeating the same strategies year after year won’t generate success. How are you going to do things differently?
[3:55] Tip 1: Look in the rearview mirror: Why look back when we want to move forward? Reflecting on your team’s 2022 mistakes and accomplishments will go a long way toward ensuring future success — and it keeps your team engaged in the process.
[6:56] Tip 2: Ask the question, Where am I going?: Metrics and numbers alone won’t help you become a better leader. You need clarity and an emotional connection for your team to understand and execute your goals successfully.
[12:48] Tip 3: Articulate how you are going to get there: In the automotive industry, we’ve got the metrics for everything. But we need to work harder on the ‘how’ — how we’re going to improve our culture and boost efficiency to achieve our goals.
[17:05] Rethink accountability: We need to stop associating accountability with blame and instead with following up on our commitments. Accountability language matters. Be clear, be specific, and don’t accept wishy-washy language.
[20:00] A new realm of possibility: Make 2023 the year you step into your authentic leadership power. Lead from the heart and inspire your team. Most importantly, believe in yourself.
Watch the full episode on YouTube - Click here
[4:58] “We need to recognize accomplishments all the time. Whenever there's a win, take a moment to recognize that success. It fuels not only you as the leader, but it fuels the team and the team members to go take on the next success.”
[10:35] “You can't stand on January 1 … and say, we're going to launch all of our programs on time and in budget. Great. Love that. But how? How are you going to do that? What exactly are you going to change in your organization and the way that you do business to make that happen? Just declaring a goal doesn't make it happen. You’ve got to inspire people around that goal, [explain] why that's so important, but then start to break it down. ”
[13:03] “We're great in automotive at talking about the metrics and the numbers. We're really good at that … But it's the how part that needs more attention.”
[20:10] “I know that you can step up into your leadership strength. Be the authentic leader you know you can be and lead from the heart, inspire your team, and take them into an entirely new realm of performance and possibility.”
Mentioned in this episode:
Welcome to the automotive leaders podcast, where we help you prepare for the future by sharing stories, insights and skills from leading voices in the automotive world with a mission to transform this industry together. I'm your host, Jan Griffiths, that passionate, rebellious farmer's daughter from Wales, with over 35 years of experience in our beloved auto industry, and a commitment to empowering fellow leaders to be their best authentic selves. Stay true to yourself. Be you and lead with Gravitas, the hallmark of authentic leadership, let's dive in.Jan Griffiths:
2022 is drawing to a close. It's the end of December, end of the year. And at this point, I'm hoping you've had a chance to relax, refresh, recharge, spend time with loved ones enjoy the holiday. And it feels good, doesn't it? Right, if you're anything like me, your mind started to wander. And you're starting to think about the year ahead. 2023 is right here. It's any day now. 2023 is going to be here. What are you going to do, differently as a leader, whether you're a manager with one or two employees, you might be a director, you might have an enormous organization with global complexity, you might be a vice president or in the C suite doesn't matter. Whatever level you're at, in our beloved automotive industry, my guess is you're starting to think about 2023. And everything that you want to accomplish. The question is this, what are you going to do differently, and you're going to keep doing the same things that you did in previous years. And you know, that definition of insanity, right, where you keep doing what you've always done, and you expect a different result. Or you're going to do something different.Jan Griffiths:
I'm going to share with you three things that I believe that will help you that you can do differently when you start 2023 to ensure that success. Let's talk about the power of the restart. The power that we have right now, where we sit right now, as we close out one year and we start a new one. It's called a temporal landmark. There's some science behind it. And you know it, you know, when you put distance between your past and the future. It empowers you, it emboldened you to come at it with a different mindset with vigor, and gusto to be able to take on a new day, because we say things like, Well, I didn't do that today. But I'll do it tomorrow, because tomorrow is going to be a new day or Well, we didn't accomplish that this month, but next month, we're going to do it, or next quarter. Well, now, we close out the year and we say next year, it's going to be different 2023 is going to be different. Got to be able to use this temporal landmark to our advantage. So how do we do that? How do we take advantage of this power of the restart, and launch into 2023 the right way and set ourselves up for success? Here are three things that will help you launch into 2023 and be successful and set yourself up for success as a leader with your team.Jan Griffiths:
Number one, look in the rearview mirror before you launch into 2023. And you might think well, what why would I do that? Why would I look back I want to look forward. There is power by looking in that rearview mirror. Something that we don't often do, and we need to do more of is recognize accomplishments. We need people to feel good about themselves and their contribution. And we used to say, years ago we were trained many of you will be familiar with us. We were trained to say, Well, I'm not going to congratulate somebody or recognize them for doing their job and just because they did this thing. I am not going to act like they did something special. We were supposed to pretend like everything that somebody did on our team, even if it was something that was truly groundbreaking that that was part of their job and nothing more. I don't subscribe to that any longer. No. We need to wreck agonize accomplishments all the time, whenever there's a win, take a moment to recognize that success, because it fuels not only you as the leader, but it fuels the team and the team members to go take on the next success. If there is no recognition coming, then what's the point really. Take some time to go back and look at 2022 with your team, this doesn't have to be a complicated exercise, just grab a flip chart, or get on a team's call or a zoom call. And take a moment just to talk through the accomplishments. You'll be amazed at what it does to the energy around the team. Then once you've done that, then you can start to look forward. But as you look forward, again, look back into the mirror into that rearview mirror and look at what have you learned from 2022? Because there are objectives, I'm sure on your 2023 list that are similar to what you had on 2022. And you didn't make it? Did you? Come on? Be honest, I know those objectives are out there. So what have you learned? What behavior or practice worked really well for you? And what didn't. Take a moment to write those down to what are the barriers to your success, because if you don't know what they are, and acknowledge them and address them, and talk about what you're going to be doing differently in 2023, then you won't, you'll just keep repeating the same old behavior and practice and you're expect a different result. And we know that won't happen. So number one, look in the rearview mirror, to perspectives, recognize accomplishments, and also recognize what went wrong and what you're going to do differently for 2023. Number two, where are you going? Where are you going? For? 2023? Do you just have the standard list of metrics and numbers for 2023? Maybe you're looking for a 20% increase in revenue, in margin cost reduction, you know, these are what I would call the hard numbers, the hard content that we deal with in the business every day. But we need more than that leadership is wrapping a team and inspiring a team around much more than the numbers. To be truly successful and reach the goal of a high performance team. We have to inspire not only our team, but the people around us. So where are you going? What is your vision? What is your mission? And don't give me that to be a world class manufacturer of a widget? You know, I hate that because it doesn't actually mean anything. What is the goal specifically for your team? Connect emotionally.Jan Griffiths:
As we're headed into the new year, many of us will make New Year's resolutions 91%. Yeah, 91% will fail. And most of that failure will hit by January the 19th. Can you believe that? 91%. Why? Why does that happen? Well, there's a couple of reasons. And the same applies to a team of people in business facing their 2023 objectives. Number one reason for failure is there's no emotional connection to the goal. We say, we want to go to the gym, we want to work out five days a week, we want to lose weight. But there's no emotional connection to that. You want to lose weight, because you want to be looking your best and feeling your best for your daughter or your son's wedding. That's something that's very real, very tangible, and emotional. Creating that emotional connection to the goal, and providing clarity to the goal. So many of our goals and objectives in the corporate world, particularly in automotive are broad and vague. If you can't explain it to a 10 year old, and I truly mean that, then it's broad and it's vague. I have spent the last two months working with a client on their strategic objectives. Working around that clarity, making sure that it's crystal clear. So that not only the team that's tasked with accomplishing the goal, but everybody in the organization can understand it. Take a little time if you can do on off site and have a couple of days where you can get your team to do this great, but if you can't at least spend a couple of hours Talking about the goal, the mission, the objective for 2023? Is it clear? Is there an emotional connection? Do you understand the impact that you're going to have on the organization on your customers spend more time talking about that would impact before you get down to the nitty gritty of the results and the metrics, and then break it down into manageable chunks. Classic example. We've got a lot of launches, new program launches going on in the auto industry right now. You can't stand on January one, or whenever you stop back to work and say, we're going to launch all of our programs on time and in budget. Great. Love that. But how? How are you going to do that? What exactly are you going to change in your organization and the way that you do business to make that happen? Just declaring that as a goal doesn't make it happen. You got to inspire people around that goal, why that's so important, but then start to break it down. What is the goal after one year be specific, what exactly does on time mean? And break it down into quarterly goals and then monthly goals. I've started working with a client who has adopted the OKR, methodology, objectives and key results, it comes from Google. And I am amazed with the power of this tool. And basically what it does is it sets a mole, which is a midterm goal, which is a one year horizon, and then it breaks it down into quarterly goals. And then you start to break it down into objectives and key results. And it keeps that shorter timeframe keeps you focused, otherwise, what will happen is you go back into the workplace in January, you'll keep launching programs and doing things the same way that you've always done them and nothing will change. Breaking down that goal is critical to your success for 2023 into smaller, bite sized chunks, and then bringing visibility and transparency to that goal. Because it's no good talking about a specific goal that would impact other departments in your organization. And they don't know about it. See that happened a million times I know you have. So break it down into manageable chunks.Jan Griffiths:
Number two is simply where are you going have that conversation, make sure there's an emotional connection, have clarity around the goal and break it down into smaller chunks. And then number three, how are you going to get there? You've got your lessons learned from the past. You know where you're going, why I want to talk about this idea of the how. We're great in automotive are talking about the metrics and the numbers. We're really good at that. And we can measure everything up, down inside out, you name it. We've got metrics for everything. We're really good at that. But it's the how part that needs more attention. When was the last time you talk to your team about the how and when I say the how I mean how work gets done. So that's the culture, the processes. Here's some examples to talk about. Do you have toxic players on the team that's dragging the entire team down? Because you might think that that doesn't have an impact on the numbers on the bottom line, but it absolutely does. Have you had a conversation about that with your team? Do you have old antiquated business processes? Maybe something that's got multiple review and approval loops creating waste in the system? And what about those meetings that we have some times that are alignment meetings for another meeting? What imagine all the wasted time that precious time and energy and resources that you've just wasted by going through these old antiquated processes and behaviors? When was the last time you looked at your meeting schedule with your team, not just on your own with your team? And challenged why you need to have that meeting? Is it because you've always had it there has always been there. You always have a meeting on a Monday at two o'clock to do I don't know something? review status. That's awful. Who needs a status meeting? You know, a few years ago, well, I guess it's probably about five or six years ago now. I had director on my team that came up to me and said you know Jan, that meeting that you've asked for. I really don't thing that we need to have it because that's all it is, is a meeting to keep you updated. And we think that a short email could do the same thing. And my first reaction was, oh, how dare he question me? Because that's a normal reaction, right? And then I'd settle down after a second. And I thought, Oh, he is absolutely right. We don't need to have that meeting. That meeting is just update me. And that's a complete waste of time. When is the last time you truly looked at your meeting schedule with your team and challenged the meeting? And who is in attendance at the meeting? One of my pet peeves is somebody that will have three meetings on their calendar at the same time. I know you can relate to that. And they put tentative on all of them, Oh, don't do that. Either make a decision. Either you go into the meeting, or you're not because the owner of that meeting, if you've gone through the work, and and you've assessed your meeting schedule, and you know that that meeting is important, the owner of that meeting, now can make a decision. If you're not in that meeting, and you're not sending somebody in your place, then maybe they need to reschedule it. But if you wait till the last minute to make that call, then what can you do with that you can't really do anything with that. So make a decision. None of this tentative stuff, please, drives me crazy. Think about every single possible item of waste, in terms of how you do business, how you interact with each other as a team, how you interact with other departments in your organization, and strip out that waste and do it. Don't agonize over it and analyze it and spend months thinking about it. Just do it, try it do something different. If it doesn't work, you know what, iterate do something else, pivot do something different, but do something in January of 2023.Jan Griffiths:
Now let's talk about accountability for a moment. That's on everybody's mind. It's one thing to talk about what it is we're going to accomplish, how we're going to accomplish it. But a big part of that. How is how are we going to hold each other accountable.Jan Griffiths:
Accountability is a term that we often use to assign blame. If it's something that's happened in the past, we say I'm going to hold you accountable for that translation. I'm going to blame you for something that happened. No, no, no, we cannot use the term accountability, and associated with the word blame. Think of it this way. Accountability is something that is about to happen in the future. And we just want to make sure that everybody is committed, owns their task, and is ready to perform that task. I know it sounds simple, and it's not so easy. But it's these little things that creep into our day to day activities that can derail the entire team. Think about and have a conversation with your team about accountability language. Do you say things like, Well, I'll try my best? Try my best? Translation, that's never going to happen. Never gonna happen. And do you accept that most of us do, right? Most of us say Well, yeah, okay, she's going to try your best, that's okay. When you're on the receiving end of that message, you receive it as it's going to happen. The person actually saying that most of the time has no intention of making that happen. Either somebody is going to commit to doing something or they're not, either. And if they're not, then there are reasons behind that either they don't believe in it, they don't have the skill set. They don't have the resources, have that conversation right then and there. Don't accept that kind of wishy washy language. And then find out a day before the due date that it's not going to happen. And have some fun with accountability language, challenge each other. Decide right now with your team, what kind of accountability language is acceptable to you and what isn't, and use humor to call each other out on it. It's amazing what that will do to the mindset of ownership and commitment and actually getting stuff done. As a leader, you're going to have to establish a positive mindset for your team, a growth mindset. And when you talk about these things, as a team, it's amazing the power that that has, when's the last time you talked about mindset with your team. You talked about you as a team and individuals have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. Hmm, so A lot to think about.Jan Griffiths:
These three tips that I've just provided to you are meant to help you launch successfully into 2023. I know that you can step up into your leadership strength, be the authentic leader, you know, you can be in lead from the heart, inspire your team, and take them into an entirely new realm of performance and possibility. You can do this, I believe in you. Let's make 2023 the year that we step up into our authentic leadership power, and have an impact and make a difference not only in the business, but in the lives of every single person on our teams. Happy 2023!Jan Griffiths:
Thank you for listening to the automotive leaders podcast. Click the Listen link in the show notes to subscribe for free on your platform of choice. And don't forget to download the 21 traits of authentic leadership PDF by clicking on the link below. And remember, stay true to yourself, be you and lead with Gravitas, the hallmark of authentic leadership.