Leading a team today has nothing to do with the old ways. Old-type leadership was about giving orders, controlling subordinates and rewarding / punishing people like kids.
Today, this doesn’t work anymore. At best it’s ineffective and at worst it’s devastating ! The key to success is making your team members great players in the game of business. Look at great sport coaches ? Well, you can be a great coach too. This is how to do:
- Set the direction: people need to know the purpose of their work. It’s key ! If their only goal is to make a bit of money for life, they will not develop their talent. A good boss is showing the way, making clear what the trip is about and make people ambitious about it. Restate your vision to your team every month !
- Listen with empathy: we spend time on our phones and tablets always waiting for the next notification ! We should listen to our team members more: take time out with each of them, go lunch one to one, have a relaxed small talk at the end of the day. Whatever the time, let them talk ! Use Carl Rogers reflective practice http://www.bapca.org.uk/about/what-is-it.html
- Sometimes “kick the ass”: being always nice is comfortable. People like you, they’re happy and feel good about working in your team. It’s great ! But comfort leads to sleepiness. We can not be good business athletes if we don’t surpass ourselves. Give a shot of energy to your team regularly. Give your opinion on what is not good enough, invite your team to an unexpected meeting and tell them you expect a better performance. Move them !
- Keep a distance: a boss is not a friend, authority comes out of some mystery you’re keeping about you. I know a lot of my young mentorees who feel uncomfortable about being in a leadership position for the first time. They try to become friends with their team members. Especially with older ones. It’s not a good solution. You can be nice, have a night out with your team, or whatever team building activities, but you should always be in your team leaders shoes…
- And above all believe in their ability to succeed… People feel when you trust them. Trusting their capabilities, their dedication, their true person. A number of experiences were made showing that when people feel trusted, they perform better. Look at your team members as people, not as objects. Try to find what is best in them. Tell them when they’re doing something good and show them how they can be better. Use Ken Blanchard one-minute manager method, it’s simple and effective http://www.kenblanchard.com
All in all, leading is a fantastic experience ! It’s great to feel others following you, becoming better and performing as a team under your guidance and with your support.
Be inspired !