6 Ways to Lead Your Team to Success
Each of you reading this has almost certainly had a manager at some point. A person who reviews performance, dictates job responsibilities, and decides the future of the team within the company. Someone glued to a report or spreadsheet, responsible for meeting performance deadlines, delivering at or under budget and ensuring the product delivered is at least what the client requested. Leaders do these things, but they do a LOT more that isn't on the spreadsheet to achieve amazing results!
Here are six things great leaders do to get results!
Empower Your Team
You built a team of smart, able people. Let them show you that talent. Empower them to make decisions on how the project should be completed, using the very best of their abilities. This will give them a personal stake in the project and lets them showcase the talents that got them hired in the first place!
Avoid Getting Lost in the Details
With every project, the devil is in the details. A leader knows this, but as the team has been empowered to address these details, they are not things the Leader needs to worry about unless there is a problem. Let your team handle the details of the project as long as it is progressing according to plan.
Pay Close Attention to Morale
You hired your team based on talent and skill. You will keep them based on morale. Pay close attention to the water cooler conversations, the changes in attitude when the project hits a snag, and the tone of communications between you and the team. Be sure you spend ample time talking with your team individually, seeking to discover any issues, problems or dissatisfaction that may be festering in your team. Address this head on and put as much effort as is needed to prevent morale from bottoming out. Poor morale in a team is a very clear indicator of a floundering team and a possibly doomed project.
Inspire the Team, Don't Manage It
As leader, you are responsible for ensuring the project is completed on time and at or below budget. That in no way means your project plan is the holy grail, infallible and unchanging. Think of the team as a group of scouts trying to set up a campground. You know they can do it, and they have proven they can before. Tell them were to go and let them do the work themselves. Show your team the ultimate goal, with milestones along the way, and let them go. Inspire them to succeed.
The team you have is the best for the job that you have available. You put your faith in their abilities when the team was put together. Keep that faith and let them do their jobs. Their expertise and wisdom is why they are there, let them use it, even if it isn't the way you would do it. Trust in their abilities and judgement. If you don't trust their judgement enough to make the small decisions, why did you hire them in the first place?
This point bears repeating often. Your team is working their collective butts off to get the project done. Be sure that every milestone is celebrated, every innovation is rewarded, and every problem overcome is publicly acknowledged. Praise your team publicly so not only the team members know you see their success, but the rest of the company sees it at well. Public recognition of a job well done is an amazing morale booster, and a sign of a Leader who wants the team to keep performing well!
Now, knowing that you have had at least one manager in your professional career, have you had any leaders? Have you had the pleasure of working for someone who not only was your boss, but was your inspiration to perform better and create new and exciting things? I surely hope so.
I also hope, for the sake of those working for you, that you chose to be a Leader yourself, and have not become just another manager of people.
The best thing about this choice is that you don't have to do it alone. BBM can help you find your inner leader.