Leadership Is a Team Sport

Leadership Is a Team Sport

Apply These Five Simple Steps to Boost Your Team’s Performance

Throughout the majority of my corporate career, I was always in a leadership position with my team depending on me to do the right thing to help them function. That’s right, “help them function”. A leader is only as good as the team they assemble, develop, and lead (not manage).

Of these three critical issues, “assemble, develop, and lead”, the most important one is “develop”. Why? Because if you don’t invest the time needed to develop your team and help them create the right work behaviors or habits, they will form their own which I guarantee will not be the right ones! Plus, if you properly develop your team, you will tangibly demonstrate your genuine interest in them. When you are “genuine”, you earn the trust and respect from your team. Earning that trust and respect, will make it easier for you to lead them. In fact, they will want your leadership.

The following five steps will help you boost your team’s performance. I learned them over the years from my successes and mistakes (and there was a bunch of them!). So, when you are challenged to elevate the performance of your team, think about one or all of these five steps:

  1. Always set a minimum level of performance and refuse to accept anything below it. Make certain everyone knows and understands what this minimum is.
  2. Invest the time needed training your team so that they have a clear understanding of what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and why it needs to be done. No one covers the “what, how, when, and why” properly. You need to be the one who does, and then stand back and watch your team perform.
  3. Make sure that your team understand the consequences of their performance when they meet or exceed your expectations, as well as when performance falls below your standards. This will help them understand the “why” better.
  4. Recognize good performance as soon as possible after it has occurred. We spend too much time pointing out errors and mistakes. While corrections need to be made, spend the same amount of time acknowledging a “job well done.” When you do this, you are encouraging the team member to do the right thing again.
  5. Spend the time getting to know each of your team members and listen to their concerns and suggestions – this will again demonstrate to them who you are and how you lead – this will add to the level of trust they have in you.

So there you have it: five simple steps, that when executed properly and consistently, will have a significant positive effect on your team’s performance.

 

By  John Hester

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