Current Issue
Material Handling Wholesaler Cover
December 2017
Enjoy the December cover story as Dave Baiocchi helps you transition from supplier to strategic partner

Industry News

View Material Handling Wholesaler's profile on LinkedIn

A common purpose
By Dr. Rick Johnson
Dr. Rick Johnson, founder of CEO Strategist.
Contributed photo
Dr. Rick Johnson, founder of CEO Strategist.

There is a lot of talk about leadership development but very little specific leadership skill training is available. It seems like success is dependent upon surrounding yourself with the right people and hoping they have the skills necessary to do the job. Compassion often prevents us from replacing those that don’t have the skills in a timely fashion and very little coaching and mentoring support is available within the company.

A sad commentary considering that team building and teamwork skills are critical to the effectiveness of the management team. Success of your management team can be defined by what they accomplish as a group. A synergy within the team that creates unity, clarity of direction with a common purpose that is in alignment with strategic initiatives. This is the first prerequisite for your management team to be effective.

Clarity of Goals

A common purpose and crystal clarity of goals and objectives are essential. Team building exercises must support the development of this clarity which includes responsibilities and accountability.

 “Purpose is the driving force of all accomplishments of greatness”  -- Thomas Carlyle

What is your management team’s real purpose? Do they all share the same response to that question? Is it crystal clear to all of them? Leaders must gain the support of many people to meet or exceed established objectives. This means that they must develop or possess a unique understanding of people. The ability to coach-mentor and teach leadership skills to others is the driving force that will create a winning organization. It is the driving force that can bring those employees that are outliers, those that are skeptical of management into a team environment.


This topic is discussed in every management book written because ineffective communication is generally at least partially responsible for the majority of failures within any management team. The key to effective communication starts with being able to listen effectively. In addition to listening skills, an effective management team must foster trust within the group, respect for each other and their abilities, an open honesty to be able to express opinions without fear and a feeling of camaraderie that breeds an atmosphere of sharing both credit for success and responsibility for failure; A Common Purpose.

Trust & Respect

The achievement of trust and respect enables your management team to reach deep down and give their all despite difficult circumstances.  To be effective and trustworthy, a manager has to be willing to admit where they have failed and identify their imperfections as areas for their own personal development.  Admitting and identifying such issues regarding one’s self further fosters trust and respect. It demonstrates to teammates that you are human and that you don’t have all of the answers.

Set Ego Aside

We all have egos but leaders with a Common Purpose control their own egos and understand how to utilize their understanding of people to inspire peak performance. They are confident and have high self-esteem without demonstrating arrogance. They are not only compassionate but they are passionate about success and they make every effort to create an effective management team. They have the unique ability to communicate and demonstrate exceptional listening skills.

It’s Your Responsibility

Creating a Common Purpose and an effective management team is a primary responsibility of leadership. Understanding the team you have put in place to help you run the business is not a luxury. It is a responsibility you must accept as a leader. Every one of us is a human being with different values, different beliefs, different back rounds and different views. Ask yourself; “how can you possibly create a Common Purpose without a complete understanding of every one of your team members?”

Go to Page 1 2 Next Page