How to create more FOCUS for your team

effective teams managers teams Jan 17, 2023

We all want to do our best at work. 

Move faster. 

Deliver a better product or service. 

Help more people. 

But often, when assessing all of the things we could possibly do and directions we could take our business, our eyes are bigger than our stomach. 

We say “yes” to the stakeholder, while hanging on to that other project we barely had time for because we were really passionate about it. 

We say “of course” to the client, knowing the request throws off our schedule and we’ll have to bend over backwards behind the scenes. 

We agree to investigate the new space that will give us a competitive advantage, knowing full well that we risk losing our competitive advantage if we take the foot off the gas on our current core product or service. 

And the priorities that we were so clear about and aligned around going into the year or quarter start to get diluted with a slew of other things that seem *just as important.*

The problem is that for team members, seeing a steady stream of new work coming in and “yes’s” without corresponding “no’s” creates confusion and a lack of clarity around what really matters. Worse, when we’ve said “yes” to so many things that we couldn’t possibly deliver on, our teams lose confidence in us as leaders because everyone knows the plan is impossible.

What do we do about this?

Here are simple 3 strategies to help create more focus and clarity on your team, whether you’re a manager or leader in a large organization or small business owner/entrepreneur looking to scale. 

(1) Come up with your process for weighing tradeoffs, and communicate it to your team

People don’t dislike shifts in priorities as much as they dislike being out of the loop on how and why the decision was made. As a leader or manager, think about what criteria goes into your decision making process around shifting priorities, and communicate that to your team.

Are there opportunities for them to share their feedback and weigh in? Are there certain stakeholders who have frequent requests? Account for these questions up front when determining your process, and you can build in time and flexibility in the schedule. For example, if a certain stakeholder always has a late breaking request that takes the team 2 weeks to deal with, build that into the timeline from the beginning.

(2) Build comfort saying NO or saying yes to LESS

Shiny object chasing is an addiction in the corporate world, and often times it’s what gets in the way between your team accomplishing a goal and feeling totally randomized.

Build a culture around celebrating “no”s and narrowing things down, show people that focus is a value on the team. This doesn’t mean adopting a “not my job” perspective, in fact, when everyone is aligned around the same goal, it’s actually easier to know where to jump in and help pick up the slack. 

(3) Celebrate leadership and transferrable skills

When we celebrate the leadership skills and skills that can be transferrable role to role and project to project, it is easier to talk about winding down projects or shifting priorities because it’s clear that people will have a place to add value somewhere else.

These are the skills like “dot connecting,” “influencing,” “building relationships,” - the things that elevate an organization no matter what the priorities are. Celebrating these skills and how they can be applied across different situations reinforces the importance of adaptability and fuels more resilience to change.

Still not convinced?

Let's dive into why this is so important.


Give this a try for your 2023 planning and priority setting and let me know how it goes!


Ready to bring out the best in your team in 2023? Let's chat.

I'll all about disrupting the places teams are getting stuck and providing actionable tools and strategies to make work easier to get done.

Here are 3 ways I can support your team in 2023:

(1) Workshops & Manager Development - priority setting, distributed team norms, overcoming fear of failure fostering a greater sense of inclusion, and building great managers people want to stay for - my workshops series' give teams tools they can deploy right away to fire on all cylinders.

(2) Employee Engagement Excellence - company engagement surveys only give you a small piece of the puzzle in what's needed to drive higher engagement. My employee engagement excellence program supports teams in better understanding the data, hearing from more voices, and developing simple and focused action plans that stick.

(3) Accelerate Group Coaching - with women leaving the corporate world (and leadership positions) in record numbers, my group coaching program for women is a demonstration of an organization's commitment to the success of the women on their team, creating opportunities to build community, strengthen leadership skills, and increase visibility of their work.

To learn more or get support for your team, email me at [email protected] or grab time on my calendar for a quick consult here:

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