A mentor once taught me the value of team spirit and how with the right culture and an exciting vision, a team of "average" skill can achieve exceptional results. He showed me the importance of having regular conversations with team members to build a culture of trust, create accountability, and encourage risk-taking. To this day, I strive to always be the kind of leader who brings out the best in my team.
I’ve met and spoken to a number of leaders over the years. They speak about how they hated being micromanaged, yet they sometimes find themselves doing it to their own teams.
There was a time in my corporate career when I felt uncomfortable about giving “negative” feedback. I had believed that for feedback to be effective, it had to be uplifting and encouraging. I had assumed that no one would like to be given feedback that would make them feel less of themselves and be demotivated.
“I hired the best people, but they don’t get along. Nearly all their delays and mistakes could have been avoided if they just communicated or coordinated better. I don’t know if they’re just stubborn or if they really don’t like each other. Either way, it’s frustrating! Since they can’t work well together, I have to constantly troubleshoot and act like a bridge. I have more important things to do!”
INDUSTRY FACT: Growing your people grows your revenue
If you want to grow your business, you need to grow your people. This isn’t just a motivational quote – it’s a proven strategy of the world’s most successful businesses.
What would you do if one of your best employees told you today: “I’m resigning.” They’re talented, and thanks to you, they’re now more experienced. Unfortunately, they’re now taking that competitive advantage elsewhere.
Leadership is now a team sport. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Report, more companies are organizing themselves around highly empowered “networks of teams” who can respond quickly and drive innovation. Only 26% of large companies (over 5,000 employees) are functionally organized, and only 14% of executives still believe that hierarchical job levels are effective.
You’re used to evaluating business results: analytics, post mortems, and management huddles where you’re cross examined about product, performance and profit.
Now imagine what would happen if you applied even a fraction of that dedicated reflection to understanding and developing the potential of employees – the people who drive your company’s success.
Digital isn’t just changing the way we work, it should change how we approach work. Emails, telecommuting, and data-driven reporting are just tools. If you still think, communicate, create and lead the way we did 20 years ago, then you’ll be just as irrelevant in the modern workplace as a typewriter.