Leadership is not a position but a way of thinking. When you recognize and embrace that it will change how you view yourself as well as others.
I bring this up because I see too many leaders act as though they have “arrived.” Suddenly every person on the team is there to serve the leader and make the leader look good. The leader sees them-self as the pinnacle of the operation.
The reality is that your team is not there to make you look successful, you are there to make your team successful. This means you have to have all of your energy focused on how YOU can make their life easier.
Here are some common things I see leaders do that cause havoc on their teams:
- Treat people differently based on amount of time they have been with the company. This thinking allows people who have been “getting by” under old policies to continue skating through. The result is a team that is divided.
- Aren’t very reachable. Think about it, if you are really invested in your team’s success that means you need to make sure they have what they need, when they need it. This requires you to do more systematizing and planning.
- Create last minute changes. Remember that last minute changes require your team to react to what you have done rather than be proactive on what they can do. There will be times when you need last minute changes. The question is, how often are you doing things last minute? If it is more than 25% of the time that means you are operating under chaos versus clarity.
- Hand things off the way you want rather than the way the participant needs it. Not every person on the team can do a Vulcan meld with you. They each need projects given to them in a slightly different way. You probably have one that needs the overview, then they need to digest that and come back with questions. Another needs the project overview, will drill you with questions and then stay out of their way and let them deliver. If you hand the project off wrong, you will get handed wrong results.
Take Action: Ask yourself, “in the last month what have I done to ensure that my team can operate successfully and shown them I am a tool in their tool belt?”
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