Every year leaders start out with great expectations of what the year will hold. You strategize, set goals, communicate goals and set out to accomplish a little more than we did last year….(or a lot more)
The hope is that we actually will. We have a lot on the line. The company is depending on you, your teams are depending on you…you are depending on you.
So how can this year be different? How can you engage and motivate your team to enthusiastically accomplish this years goals and not only check the box of getting things done, but also be fully engaged and invested in shared success?
In over 15 years of working with leaders and their teams I’ve noticed that the most successful leaders do a few things consistently that foster engagement and moves the needle forward and creates an opportunity for the team to succeed together.
One of your primary roles as leader is to create clarity for your team. Where are we going? How should we go about getting there? What are my boundaries, and where can I be creative? How do my goals/my role play into the bigger picture?
The answers to these questions are a good place to start, but ultimately Creating Clarity is about setting, and re-setting clear expectations so that your team can run ahead to the goal. In addition, each team member should understand how their contributions fit into the bigger department and organizational picture of success.
“My team is talented, competent and equipped to accomplish our goals.” (read that again, say it out loud so you believe it)
Empowering is about allowing your team do what they do best. You’ve set clear expectations now let them use their expertise to make it happen. In many cases there is a need to set boundaries on what should and should not be done, but outside of that, allow your team to create their path to success. Their path and methods may not look like you did it, and it doesn’t have to. Your job is to provide clear direction and equip your team, their job is to do what you hired them to do.
Consistent communication is essential for success. Empowering or delegating something to your team does not mean abandonment. It means that you will be there and be supportive as needed.
Creating Clarity is mostly about setting expectations, communicating is more about checking in on how things are going so that you can continue to Create Clarity. Another important component of communication is connecting with your team and helping them connect the business goals to their own personal and professional goals.
As far as goals go, your team wants you to know how things are going but may be reluctant if they feel stuck, isolated or disengaged. Initiating communication around how things are going and how they are doing is essential for success. Your team wants to know that you not only care about the goal, but also care about them as they pursue the goal.
What barriers do you have? Is there anything you would like to discuss? How do you see this going? What help do you need? These are all good questions to improve engagement and communicate your support.
Think of communication as a status check, not only on how things are progressing, but also how the individual team member is doing as they move toward the goal.
It’s simple; what gets recognized, gets done. This saying is always true. Now I’m not talking about a big parade each time someone does something, but you would be amazed how a little appreciation for progress make a big impact. People want to know that their efforts are appreciated.
Recognizing behaviors also helps you to encourage the behavior that you want and clarify the behaviors that you don’t want. When you thank someone for taking the initiative, for sharing their ideas, for going the extra mile. It not only shows appreciation, but also encourages your team to repeat the behaviors that help them be successful.
Set the Example
As a leader, you are always creating the culture of your team and organization. There are definitely other factors, but you as the leader you have a multiplied impact. When you set the example through your actions, and model the behaviors, you desire to see, you then become a clear representation of what helps move the team towards successfully accomplishing their goals.
Leadership carries weight. Once you accept a leadership role this weight is thrust upon you. Being the example of expectations is just part of the responsibility of leadership.
Overall, Creating Clarity, Empowering, Communicating, Recognizing and Setting the Example done consistently will help you build an engaged team positioned to be successful in any goal.
#Leadership #Goals #Team #Success #Vision #Communicate #Recognition #Leader