Monday, October 30, 2017

Points not Yardage. What are your Top 3?



Points not yardage. It was one of the values of SuccessFactors that has stuck with me. The meaning is simple: activity is important but results matter. Points not yardage is what separates high performing teams and high performing individuals from the pack. Are you just busy or are you delivering results? As simple as the idea of “points not yardage” sounds, it can be difficult for individuals, caught up in the hustle of their day to day activity, to lift their heads up and answer for results.

Every week my Client Experience team at Degreed posts their Top 3 Objectives for the week and the Top 3 Results from last week in a dedicated Slack channel. It is one of the required Monday activities that help us perform better as individuals, as a team and as a company. By articulating what we plan to achieve this week, and posting it publicaly for the company, we not only clarify our objectives for ourselves, we create cross functional awareness and accountability.  

It’s not about your activity for the week. It’s not about yardage. Everyone on the team is working incredibly hard for our customers, with conference calls, project planning, and meetings. This type of yardage is important, and we work to ensure everyone is focused on the right activities, but the focus is on results, points on the board. It is not just meeting with your customer, but gaining buy-in from your customer to try a new communication strategy. It is not just a customer on-site, it is introducing new sponsors to the platform. It is not just hosting an internal Learning Forum, it is ensuring that everyone on the team understands a new product feature and its impact on our customer’s business.

It can be a tough exercise. I have followed the same process with my Customer Success teams for several years now. I post my own Top 3 to start my Monday morning and require that everyone, including the other leaders on the Client Experience team, do the same. I personally read every Top 3 post every week, adding an emoji to show that I have read it, and I actively encourage everyone on the team and extended leadership team to do the same. For me, it is a great way to understand what everyone plans to achieve this week and to ensure that everyone’s objectives are properly aligned, week in and week out, with our top-level team objectives. It also provides me with the visibility to objectives and results to monitor team performance and ensure that I can help unblock issues where planned objectives weren’t achieved.

Posting the Top 3 for the week is a simple but incredibly effective way to understand what you are personally planning to achieve this week, to track and ensure that you are delivering results week after week. It has also proven to be an effective way to align a team behind delivering results in a collaborative and transparent way.

Points not yardage.


About David Verhaag 


David is the Vice President, Client Experience at Degreed, the lifelong learning platform. Prior to Degreed, David established and scaled the Customer Success function at Kahuna and HireVue and spent eight+ years with SuccessFactors where he led the development of the global Customer Value team. David lives on a sailboat in Half Moon Bay, CA.
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