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How To Align Your Team Towards One Destination - With Anthony Taylor

Aug 27, 2021

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Anthony Taylor.

Anthony Taylor is the managing partner at SME Strategy Anthony has facilitated hundreds of strategy sessions for organizations big and small across North America and beyond.

He is the author of two books and the host of the Strategy and Leadership Podcast.. Anthony speaks fluent French, loves soccer, and one of his life goals is to visit every MLB Stadium.

Why you've got to check out Anthony's episode:

- Discover how Anthony helps CEO's of small and medium sized businesses with 100-200 people who are looking to take the next step in growing their organisation.

- Understand the biggest challenge that a CEO will typically have when his team do not have the skills, capability and alignment with the strategic direction of the business.

- The importance of all working towards a common goal and how important it is to have One Destination for the entire business.

- Why it is so important to have the explicit conversation with your team about where you are going and what the one destination you are all heading towards collectively.

- How to get access to the free One Destination Scorecard to help bring alignment across the team.

Resources / Links


Tom Bailey: Hello and welcome to Succeed Through Speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.

Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's episode I'll be getting to know Anthony Taylor, who's the managing partner at SME strategy, the author of two books, and also the host of the strategy and leadership podcast to Anthony. Hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Anthony Taylor: Thanks so much, Tom.

Tom Bailey: Awesome. Really appreciate that. And out of interest for our listeners. Whereabouts are you based?

Anthony Taylor: Home is Vancouver Canada on the west coast.

Tom Bailey: Fantastic. Thank you so much. And I want to share a little bit more about you before we do get started. So, Anthony has facilitated hundreds of strategy sessions for organizations big and small across north America and beyond he speaks fluent French, loves soccer, and one of his life goals is to visit every major league baseball stadium. Okay. Title for today's episode is How To Align Your Team Towards One Destination. And Anthony is going to show us how to do that in just seven minutes. The question number one today is who are your ideal clients?

Anthony Taylor: Your client is the CEO of a small or medium sized business, usually around a hundred to 200 people. And they're really taking that next step in growing their organization and getting to where they want.

Tom Bailey: Fantastic. Very clear. And what would you say is the biggest challenge that they typically face?

Anthony Taylor: Yeah, well, as a CEO, the biggest challenge is as they develop their team and as they move forward, the CEO has skills and expertise that they've developed over years and years. And often the senior leadership team doesn't have those skills. So really being able to help, not only get that one destination for the leadership team and the organization as a whole, but also developing the capacity. To implement that strategy over time are the two biggest things that we really help teams with.

Tom Bailey: Right. And I guess those clients that you work with don't have that in place, what is the impact that, that might have on their business?

Anthony Taylor: Well, I mean, if you don't know where you're going, you can never get there. So that's the first part. So really helping them get clear on that. And then the impact is actually hit their goals. They hit their goals. They move forward, work is more enjoyable. They don't have to have a revolving door of people leaving and ultimately it helps them, you know, help more people, which is really what we're all in.

Tom Bailey: I love that. And I love the thought of this one destination, the north star that we're all heading towards. That is so important in business. Okay. So, anybody that wants to improve this in their business, what is the one piece of valuable advice that you might give somebody to help them really get started?

Anthony Taylor: Well, you know, we talk about public speaking and having conversations. It's really about having the conversation with your team and if it's not explicit that it's implied. And when you have a sort of, if it's implied, then you have a lot of differences and differences of understanding. And I often joke that my wife's version of the kitchen being clean is different than my own. So, we had to come to an alignment as to what that is. If you're leading a team and you haven't had the conversation with them yet about where you're going, that is really the biggest thing that you need to do right now.

Tom Bailey: Awesome. I think I might need to have that conversation with my wife as well at some point. Right? So next question from me then is what is one valuable resource or someone that you can point people to really help them get started? Fixing this.

Anthony Taylor: Yeah, absolutely. So, what we've included is our one destination scorecard, and it's a really easy tool that you can use with your team, that each individual person assesses your one destination on a score of one to 10. And then that way you can say, Hey, if you think where you're going is very clear, but someone else on your team doesn't think it's very clear. It's a great opportunity to get aligned around. And why we designed it as, you know, everybody has a subjective way of looking at things, but we find that numbers don't lie. And even if you have the numbers and you, they might be similar, it still gives you the sort of opening the door, having the conversation about, Hey, are we aligned? Do we really mean the same thing? Even if we have the same.

Tom Bailey: Great. Brilliant. I've got the URL for that as well here, which I'll drop into the show notes. And that is hyphen destination, hyphen scorecard, hyphen conversation. But yeah, I'll put that into the show notes. People can just click on that and dive right in. Awesome. So, question directed at yourself then, Anthony, what would you say is one of your greatest either mistakes or failures that you've made either in life or in business? And what did you learn from it?

Anthony Taylor: Well, I, we only have a short amount of time, so I can't talk about all of them. I literally wrote a book on all the mistakes I've made. But the one mistake I really made was I was investing in a business with a business partner some years ago and he ended up stealing money from my company and the mistake wasn't trust and the mistake wasn't, you know, sort of legal things. I think the mistake was trying to fast forward the process. I wasn't. Skilled enough, equipped enough to be able to sort of take that next level and, you know, everything sort of fell by the wayside. So, I tried to grow too fast and it sort of blew up in my face royally. So that would be the biggest mistake, but I'm sure

Tom Bailey: I've gotten many absolutely. And the great lessons to learn. Lots of people listening here to take their time when we're looking at this, you know, legal size of launching a business. Okay. So, the final question from me today then is what is the one question that I should have asked that also brings some great value to our audience?

Anthony Taylor: Well, I think the number one question you didn't ask is what is the opposite of one destination? And you know, we call that the multiple destination trap and it's, you know, going back to what is the biggest thing that we help people with. It's really getting them out of that multiple destination trap. It's where everybody's got a different idea of success, or you're so busy working on things that you're not working on the right things, or you've got 10 different priorities and everybody has a different idea of what. Those are so really being able to recognize for yourself if you're in the multiple destination trap, because it's a blind spot, you don't know you're in it until you can actually tell you're in it. But it's critical to know if you're stuck or not.

Tom Bailey: Absolutely. It's so important. And that word alignment you used earlier is again, critical in this space. So, Anthony, thank you again so much for your time today for coming along and for sharing such great value with our audience.

Anthony Taylor: That's my sincere pleasure, Tom. Thanks for having me.