I’ve been spending a lot of time with agency owners and their leadership teams over the past month or so, talking about agency metrics and strategic planning tools. I’m always a little surprised but in almost every instance, there is a missing component that gets in the way of the leadership team really working cohesively and exceeding the agency’s goals for the year.

Want to see if your leadership suffers from the same deficiency?

Pull your team together and have them each write down the answer to this question:

Assume it is December 2015. What are 3 -4 agency metrics would you use to determine if the year has been successful or not.

Once everyone has done that — have everyone read their answers out loud and put them up on the wall. I suspect, fi you are like most agencies — you will get a wide variety of answers. Many of them will dance around some of the same issues, but you will not get a unified list that consistently reflects the same metrics.

That’s a problem. Without everyone working towards the exact same goals and monitoring the metrics tied to those goals — do you really think you’re going to get there?

Using strategic planning tools such as this one can help you work toward the exact same year-end results. Not only will this help your agency to exceed expectations but it will also help employees to far surpass their own expectations.

Your leadership team is filled with good people and they all want to give you 110%. So each of them attaches their talents, resources and skills to what they believe is the agency’s #1 priority. It’s as if everyone has tied a rope to a little red wagon based on their own assumptions –so there are ropes on all 4 wheels and the wheel axel.  Each is pulling towards the goal they believe is critical.

See the problem? They are all pulling with all their might. Giving you 110%. But they are not pulling in the same direction. So your wagon goes nowhere. Your people get frustrated. You get frustrated. And your agency gets stuck.

All because you didn’t clearly define the top 3-4 goals for the year and build an agency metrics dashboard to measure/monitor your progress towards those goals.

Without that shared SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant an time-specific) agency metrics dashboard and these types of strategic planning tools — you will continue to accidentally work against each other — leaving your agency in the middle of a tug of war.

How long are you going to let that continue?