Keep Your “How” to Yourself

I’m an Army brat, meaning I grew up with a parent in the Army. I was raised grocery shopping at the commissary, feeling fancy when we ate at the Officer’s Club, and watching endless military drills on base.

Maybe my emersion in military life is why the leadership concept of Commander’s Intent resonates so strongly with me. But I’m not alone. Lots of leaders have found this approach impactful.

So, what exactly is Commander’s Intent?

Essentially, commanders provide a clear description of the desired outcome – laying out the “why,” “when,” and “where” – and stop short of dictating the “how” to their troops. This is called Commander’s Intent. The reason for this approach is that when everyone is aware of the larger purpose and expectations of the leader, they can self-adapt when obstacles arise.

The same approach can be applied to your business team. You can provide clear expectations of what success looks like to your direct reports so that when unexpected curveballs come their way – a client changes their mind, budget cuts are made, supply chain causes a shortage in inventory – they can adapt in a way that allows them to still achieve the end goal.

Applying Commander’s Intent to your leadership toolbox helps you avoid one of the biggest blockers to productivity: micromanagement.

I don’t know any leader with the bandwidth to micromanage a growing team. And I don’t know any team that enjoys being micromanaged.

If we want our teams to be adaptable and effective, we need to release the “how” to them and trust they will work toward achieving the ultimate goal.

We use this approach with our creative fulfillment teams at Liger. We establish the end goal with our clients, create an overall strategy with our expert team leaders, and then turn our “troops” loose to determine exactly how to tactically achieve the desired outcome. They monitor the day-to-day progress and adjust as needed.

Are you tired of micromanaging an ineffective marketing effort? Liger is ready to step in and bring order, efficiency, and success to your marketing team.