My assistant had to end the part-time contract work with me. On his last day, he asked me not to forget why I started doing what I am doing. I can tell that, as uncomfortable as that conversation was for him, he summoned up a great amount of courage to let me know what was on his mind.
I appreciate the reminder. It helped me realize a few very important things. One is that I should keep on emphasizing the blueprint with my group so that it is not just me who know where we are but so do others involved.
I should never assume that simply because I know what I am doing, people following me will know it clearly too. I have a responsibility of making sure that we are all on the same page, getting our questions answered, and having our expectations met. For employees, it is really easy for them to feel like they are losing the general direction and it is not their fault. While a business leader is working on the strategy and direction, it is the employees who are caught up in the daily grind. Just like how every once in a while I need to intentionally pause my work to ground myself and I keep a clear head, an organization should also create chances to pause itself and remind everyone inside it of where it is heading and where it is right now in the whole process.
Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook (and a female leader that I admire) starts every meeting with the company’s purpose. She suggests that founders should remind employees of the company’s mission all the time, not just on their first day.
Now I see the importance of that practice. Lesson learned!