Whatever ethical plane you hold yourself to, when you are responsible for a team of people, it is important to raise the bar for yourself higher than you expect from others. Your team is a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow.
Being able to inspire your team is crucial for accomplishing organizational objectives, and it is also important for achieving daily tasks. It is a leader’s job to keep spirits up, and that begins with clearly communicating expectations, and then driving accountability.
If a leader expects people to take responsibility, then make them accountable. Failing to do this will cause a loss of credibility, loyalty, and trust.
It is important to remember that trusting your team is a sign of strength, not weakness. Delegating tasks to the appropriate people is one of the most important skills you can develop. Emails and tasks will begin to pile up, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the lower the quality of your work will become, and the less you will produce.
The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. Find out what each team member enjoys doing most. Chances are if they find that task more enjoyable, they will likely put more thought and effort behind it. This will not only prove to your team that you trust and believe in them, but will also free up your time to focus on the higher level tasks, that should not be delegated. It’s a fine balance, but one that will have a huge impact on your productivity.
Communicating clearly and succinctly when describing what you want done is extremely important. If you cannot relate your vision to your team, you will not all be working towards the same goal. Training new members and creating a productive work environment all depend on healthy lines of communication. Make it a point to talk to your staff on a daily basis, and always making yourself available to discuss interoffice issues when they come up will create trust and respect.
Morale is linked to productivity, and it is a leader’s job to instill a positive energy. This is where a sense of humor will pay off. Encourage the team to laugh at mistakes and learn from them. If you look for the humor in daily struggles, your work environment will become a happy and healthy space, where your employees look forward to working.
Preparing teams for flexibility is a unique but necessary talent in today’s environment of exponential change. Maintain confidence and reassure everyone that setbacks are natural, change is the new-normal, and the important thing is to focus on the larger goal. As the leader, by staying calm and confident, you will help keep the team feeling the same. Remember, your team will take cues from you, so if you exude a level of calm, your team will pick up on that feeling. The key objective is to keep everyone working and moving forward.