Hey leaders, managers and guides. What type of leader are you? Is this who you’re happy being? Can others learn from your style? Or, has the busy-ness of every day got you caught up in being the kind of manager/leader you vowed you’d never be? Which path are you currently on and who would you most like to be? And, most importantly, how is this truly effecting your team?
The varied paths
These days leaders take many varied paths. There are the intimidaters, who threaten and keep their staff nervous and scared. There are the Sweeties who are so nice that people don’t take them seriously, at all. There are the old school Tall Poppy Choppers who are worried their team members might be better than they are and after their jobs, so they do their best to make sure they never shine or excel too much. The worst are the backroom managers who don’t seem to lead at all, even when they have intention to. They’re the ones that are not really involved and who hardly see their staff or who actually believe distance-directing can be effective.
Most leaders or managers are what I call “soon-willers“. These people have good intentions and ideas and care about their people, yet get lost in the busy-ness of day to day work and say “soon” they “will” get to this or that, yet never quite do. Most people are doing their best. Or, are there things that could be done?
The ideal is leader is The source, is the manager/leader who makes the time to pay attention to staff needs and realities and who keeps in mind the following:
Boil, boil and toil
While a watched pot may not boil, in the case of leadership and management, that is certainly not the case. People will work harder, more effectively and more attentively when you are more actively involved, checking in and checking up. It’s just a fact. Make time for mini-progress meetings or a cup of tea with someone, each week. You’ll be more aware of where people need training, re-direction, motivation and where your own goals need to be focused going forward.
Show us – show you
A good leader gets involved, shows the staff that they’re not only willing to get in there and get their hands dirty, they’re also paying attention to what’s going on around them. They know the perfect time to step in and guide. And, the right moments to step back and let their staff have a chance to learn something new and shine like bright sparkling stars. These leaders encourage people to do new things and give praise when they achieve something they might not have otherwise tried and cheers them on, encouraging more.
Give ‘em a leg to stand on
Consistency is what’s going to keep your team stable and happy. If you, or your company, are changing the agenda, brand, mission statement, direction and so on, day by day, week by week, or month by month, that’s just not going to work. Your people will constantly be re-inventing the wheel, wasting time and energy and getting frustrated in the process because it isn’t a safe and relaxed environment. They’ll never know exactly which way to go with success, because what’s good one day is not good the next. Crazy tactics and not achieving the results you ultimately desire.., which is a clear success and a team that is not nervous and contracted, losing creativity, yet, in the flow and making great things happen..
Keep the windows clean
Be clear. Make sure each person on your team understands what they’re role is, what they’re suppose to be doing, how their piece fits in with the rest of the puzzle and most importantly, what your expectations are. Without clarifying mutual expectations along the way, how does a team truly know the way to success? Clean windows means easy driving forward with easy vision of the obstacles or alternative roads to take as you move forward.
Open the door
Keep the door open. When you are approachable, a good listener, show the team integrity and true interest in what they are saying, with follow through, people will come to you with both challenges and new ideas. New ideas not only feed the team and your ultimate goals and purpose, but make you look good as well!:). Give them credit, show the world around that you are helping to create new leaders and an innovative, dynamic and successful team.
Pass it on
People like to know why they’re doing things. Give them information. Though you may not think it’s important for your team to know every sorted detail of the whys and the ins and outs of the business (or the board requires it), you must give them something to work with. Few of us like the answer “because I said so”, or “that’s just the way it is”. A good leader finds the way to filter information to the team. Understanding what makes each part of our work valuable and useful to the whole is vital for motivation and a feeling of ownership.
A Vibrant team
A strong team is one that continues to have the opportunity to learn new things, grow and shine. A motivated team knows that their input and ideas make a difference and they are heard. An energetic team feels fed when they do something well by getting bonuses or some kind of recognition from their leaders. A successful team takes initiative along the way, has new vision, and gets things done with the feeling that what they did made the difference. A strong leader knows what creates great work from a good team.
Trickle down theory
A good leader, leads.. by example with energy, enthusiasm and integrity.. “Do as I say, not as I do”, didn’t work when we were kids and certainly doesn’t work in the work place. In the end, the most important thing to remember is that who you are, how you act, your motivation, your enthusiasm, energy, attitude, everything you do, trickles down. The great thing is, that you are effecting many people. They, in turn, will effect more people, at work and out in the world. What do you really want to pass on? The tricky thing is that it means, yes, they’re watching, listening and paying attention to all that you do. On the hard days, it means you have the task of finding your way to more balance, have your bag of tricks to shift your mood and get your groove back. On the good days, it means you are positively effecting people and being the leader, who leads the way ..toward team growth and achievement of goals and the people’s and company’s ultimate destination of positive effect and success.