When You Bore Your Followers

One leadership trap that sneaks on people  is allowing their team to become bored with the vision and goals of your organization.  The longer you lead and the higher you go up the ladder of success the more dangerous the desire to coast and take it easy becomes.  If you succumb to the temptation to slack off in your efforts toward success and begin to set small goals not only will your personal productivity suffer but your team can become demoralized through your complacency.  This will make them easy prey for head hunters seeking to poach your talent.   If you staff your team with hard charging, goal oriented, passionate people, then remember that those are the kinds of  people sitting in the offices downstairs as you piddle and waste time with easily achieved goals.   If you have “race horses” you have to keep entering them into races.   Race horses will never be content to munch hay in the barn no matter how comfortable the stall.  You must continue to challenge them or you are going to find your stalls empty or  even worse filled with plow horses who will never win a race.

What can you do?

  • Take your leadership temperature at least once a year
  • Invite trusted friends to  evaluate your goals to see it they are drifting down
  • Allow your team to freely assess the organization
  • Empower your best people to create projects that will stretch them
  • Treat the entire team to challenging leadership conferences
  • Never stop learning and growing yourself

At some point in your career you may decide you don’t to work as hard or challenge yourself anymore.  That is a fair decision, but be aware that your “race horses”  will soon jump fence.  At that point you either need to step aside and allow a new leader to take your place or prepare your organization for the inevitable decline in productivity that will follow.

Teams May Be The Most Powerful Things You Ever Create

Teams May Be The Most Powerful Things You Ever Create

This week I have seen two incredible teams produce some amazing results while at the same time I watched one team member send her team into a tailspin of low productivity.   I have learned in thirty years of working in the helping trades, that nothing of real size and consequence ever gets built without teamwork.  Most people cherish the good teams they have been fortunate to be a part of but are usually unaware of how those teams were created.  But what if you need to create a team and you wanted it to be above average?  How would you do it?   I must admit that my experience as a leader has been sporadic in creating good teams, but I have always been studying and seeking more information on this vital issue.

Here’s a list of ideas that I’ve gathered about creating effective teams:

  1. Know your purpose,-if you are building a boat, you don’t need aircraft mechanics.
  2. Know your weaknesses and build your team to overcome them
  3. Go after the best players- talent always trumps personality or enthusiasm.
  4. Reward excellence in every way possible, but especially with praise
  5. Correct poor performance or remove the player who is weak as soon as possible.
  6. Decide you want to play in the big leagues and let your team know it.
  7. Let your players play to their strengths and hire out the grunt work.
  8. Always be on the lookout for fresh talent, no team stays the same forever.

You may have some better ideas, if so please share them with me.

Do remember this though; life is a team sport and the people who accomplish the most in life work at building strong teams.  Get busy today purposefully building your team.