You are, as the team leader, at the center. You set the tone. You set the speed. You set the mood.
Those are powerful abilities, if you use them in high performance ways. You'll need power, and you'll need strength, and you can't grab that from anyplace else other than yourself. Your team is counting on you. Whether or not they tell you, they depend on you to be their strong leader. The strength of patience. The strength of persistence. The strength of high expectations.
Pull your team together. Talk with them individually AND as part of the whole team. Let them know how to succeed and they'll do their best to do so.
As much as you might want it to, your team will not build itself. It needs a strong leader.
From Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach, comes this is a great way to share fast, low risk coaching with a number of people. The three steps are simple and easy:
Write down an area you'd like to improve that would have a big impact for youAsk for 2 positive suggestions for the future that would help with that areaRepeat getting positive suggestions from others in the group
There are two simple roles for the process:
No talking about the pastNo judging or critiquing ideas
Here's Dr. Goldsmith describing the process in one of his highly useful videos:
I found this article and video from one of my favorite sources of leadership advice, GetLighthouse.com, here.
Don't let anyone or anything stop you from being creative. It's power you have to use to make things better and achieve your goals. Sure, it sometimes might aggravate people. It might cause some people to bristle at having to look at things a new way. It's important. Stay with it.
Creativity will get you out of more trouble than it ever gets you into.
Leaders do not settle. Good enough is not enough. Almost will never do. As my dad used to say, "Anything worth doing is worth doing right," and leadership must be done in a fully attentive, fully focused, high performance way. High performance leaders insist on ever increasing performance. To get there, they encourage positive action after positive action. Step by ever reaching step to a higher level, to a better degree, to a higher quality.
It's what high performance leaders do.
High performance leaders provoke positive actions.
What positive action will you provoke today?
-- doug smith
Leadership Call to Action
The next conversation you have with anyone on your team today, take a moment to provoke a positive action. Encourage your team member to do more, to add quality, to add value to something otherwise routine. Keep provoking until that positive action is a reality -- and then keep provoking until that positive reality is a habit.
There's a skill that, once you start using effectively, begins to feel like a superpower. You never have to settle for a poor answer again. I learned this from my mentor Andrew Oxley, who taught me "if you don't like the answer to a question, ask a better question."
It takes practice. At first you might run out of questions. But, if you stick with it and work at it you can always, always, always come up with better questions. And if you get stuck, silence can even be your better question. Just don't give in. Just don't give up. Ask better questions.
Remember what Andrew Oxley said:
If you don't like the answer to a question, ask a better question.
-- doug smith
Team building. It's a never ending process. It starts with recruiting. Who you bring into your team makes the chemistry of your team. Who you bring into your team sets the players in place to do the work that needs to be done.
Take your time with recruiting. Start by getting to know the best talent you can. You never know who might be interested in joining your team, but first get to know them. Learn from talent everywhere. Explore places you might not usually explore to find the talent that can take your team to the next level.
They might not join your team now. They might not even be interested. But, someday they might. The only way that someday arrives is if you start the dialogue today.
Who do you know who you wish was on your team right now? What if you gave them a call?
Have you ever worked for a perfect leader? Me, either. And neither am I a perfect leader. We can't be perfect, yet we can work to be on the work toward perfection. It's a road we'll never finish.
I've been blessed to work with many great leaders, none of them perfect. But, some people have not been so lucky. Some people seem to have worked for a long streak of frustrating leaders or bullies. Maybe some of those people are headed for (or already on) your team. The news is good, though. You can greatly influence their future experience, even if you were previously less than what they needed in a boss.
It's a new day. It's a new time. You can be a new, improved, effective, attentive, high performance leader.
Be the leader you always wished you had.
Someone else is wishing for that, too.
Have you ever been on your way somewhere and suddenly realized that you were on the wrong road? Before GPS, that would happen to me frequently. I'd get lost. Things looked different than I expected.
On our road to our goals, things can get distorted. Our expectations, formed with optimism and trust, can get twisted or tumble over a cliff. The road to any goal requires a toll. Are you prepared to pay that toll.
One early toll is seeing thru the distortions. To achieve our goal we need to see clearly. That could mean seeing things thru someone else's viewpoint. Find out the facts, sort out the feelings, and focus on as much objective truth that is available.
The road ahead is distorted. It's up to us to stay centered, focused, and on the right route to our goal.
I gain much from watching these brief videos from Business Made Simple featuring Don Miller. If you enjoy them to you can subscribe. This one features some quick advice on how to get your boss to like you.
The trouble with too many top priorities is getting them done. Too many top priorities means you don't really have priorities -- just a really long list of goals.
Have all the goals you want. Goals are great. I've know people who carry a list of 100 goals. They check them off one by one, and some have truly accomplished nearly half. That takes time, and feels more like a bucket list than a goals list.
Top goals are what you work on first. Top goals are what you prioritize above all else. Top goals are where your results make a meaningful distance.
High performance leaders show the courage to focus on five top goals.