As I watch different leaders attempt to move beyond the urgency of the moment to a more strategic view of their role within the organization, I am reminded of Vince Lombardi, the famous coach of the original Green Bay Packers. The story goes that Lombardi, after taking his team to victory in the very first Super Bowl, started the following year’s training camp by facing his Pro Bowl-stacked team of players with a statement that seemed dishonoring to a group that was known as the best of the best: “Gentlemen,” he said, “this is a football.”
Recently, I was reminded of the need for leaders to simplify the complex: to start with the basics that are fundamental to the capacity, velocity and value they need to extract from their teams. As well, leaders must recognize that simplicity and efficiency begins with them modeling the behavior they seek to change.
A senior director of security operations for a global company that has spent millions on security technology as well as integration efforts, looked across the table from me that other day, smiled, and said: “What if I could help you find three more hours in your day?”
Well, if you know my day, it tends to creep into my evening. So he was able to get my attention immediately. “In 30 minutes, I can help you find those three hours by applying some core principles and the effective use of technology you use every day,” he claimed.
I looked at my watch, hoping he had 30 minutes left in the time he had allotted to speak with me. But, instead, he went through some key principles that he said were helping him increase his capacity and focus his team on the right things at the right time.
Here were some of the key concepts that he said he was intentionally focusing on to create a high performance team:
- Killing the random disruptions;
- Converging the steps it takes to communicate and execute;
- Creating teams that serve the need in the time of need; and
- Leveraging technology.
A plan for your day or week is often derailed by the undisciplined interactions of your team. Understanding your process for communication and execution enables you to begin converging the steps required to do things like schedule meetings, assign tasks, measure progress, and report on results. Creating the process and providing the tools to engage at a more efficient level through technology that already exists (but is possibly underleveraged by your team), will help mitigate and control the random disruptions. These core principles apply to managing any operation, including security.
Ronald Worman is the founder and managing director of The Sage Group.