A new rule in leading a team
One of the most difficult things in being in a leadership role is leading the team to achieve the desired results. It is said that employees don't quit jobs, they quit their managers. How do we learn to lead a team to success? Is is a natural born talent? Is it something we are taught in school? Or is it something that we develop naturally over time?
Learning to be a leader is something that can only be done through trial and error. I remember the first time I was put in charge of people. I thought that leading meant telling people what to do and then getting really mad that they didn't do it. Through some mentoring, life experience, and a great course. . . a new concept was born. I had the realization that the golden rule of "treat others the way you want to be treated" was erroneous. I learned as a leader to "treat others the way THEY want to be treated".Now, this doesn't mean you just let the team do what ever they want. This meant that you find their motivating factors, understand them as an individual, work to help them achieve their goals. Not ever person is the same, nor are the motivated by the same things. Taking the time as a leader to better understand the team you are leading will result in a more motivated team. This will result in a team who is aligned to help you achieve.
While this may seem like a simple concept, executing it can be difficult. How do you motivate individuals and not come across as unfair or biased? Here are ways to ensure that each team member is receiving equal leadership.
- Establish a System - Ensure that your system has flexibility but make sure that everyone understands what is expected and what the results will be if the expectations are met and what will happen if they are not.
- Meet Individually on a Schedule - It is important as a leader to allow each team member access to you on an individual level. Make sure that you set side time each month, or quarter to meet one on one with your team members. Some team members may be requesting time with you every day, while other's are less likely to approach a leader but may have things the wish to discuss.
- Write it Down - Provide written expectations and potential awards and consequences for each team member. Individualize based on their motivating factors.
- Team Input - To keep this fair, ensure that you have established a system within the team that everyone agrees on. Have the team assist in determining rewards and consequences. One person may like a $100 bonus while another person might like 3 hours off on a Friday afternoon. If you work with the team to explore positive and negative consequences that everyone can agree on, it will increase their motivation.
Do you have any techniques you use with your team to make it more successful? I can't wait to hear how other's are leading their extraordinary teams.