Five things a leader should do to get the best out of their team

In the numerous obituaries that have been published for Steve Jobs, the word visionary seems to be the most quoted adjective in an attempt to define his leadership style.

Image of Steve  JobsSteve Jobs always had a vision, even in the early days, and he knew how to inspire people with it.

There’s no doubt that teams need their leader to be clear about what they are aiming for, but it takes more than a vision to get the best from a team in the long-term.  So here are five things a leader should do to get the best out of their team:

  1. Recognition
    Team members need to know how they are doing. No one is immune to the power of praise, so find ways to catch your people doing things right.
  2. Correction
    For praise to be truly effective it must be balanced with correction. Don’t leave reprimands for the annual review; deal with issues immediately, sensitively and in private
  3. Listening
    Great leaders don’t tell, they ask questions, then probe the answers, seeking first to understand before making themselves understood.
  4. Networking
    Beyond the team will be relationships that, if fostered, will smooth the way for your group to succeed. Leaders must be ambassadors for their team.
  5. Vision
    As the proverb says “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.” A shared goal is what turns a group of individuals into a team and only the leader can cast the vision – what’s yours?

The Big Wheel

THE BIG WHEEL

Sometimes when you’re feeling important,

Sometimes when your ego’s in bloom,

Sometime when you take it for granted,

You’re the best qualified in the room.

Sometime when you feel that your going

Would leave and unfillable hole,

Just follow this simple instruction

And see how it humbles your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water.

Put your hand in it up to your wrist,

Pull it out, and the hole that’s remaining,

Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.

You may splash all you please when you enter,

You can stir up the water galore,

But stop… you’ll find in a minute,

That it looks quite the same as before.

The moral in this quaint example

Is to do just the best you can,

Be proud of yourself, but remember,

There’s no indispensable man.

Author Unknown

You can make a difference in the world

It’s not how much you accomplish in your life that really counts,

but how much you give to others.

It’s not how high you build your dreams that make a difference,

but how high your faith can climb.

It’s not how many goals you reach,

But how many lives you touch.

It’s not who you know that matters, but who you are inside.

Believe in the impossible, hold tight to the incredible, and live each day to its fullest.

You can make a difference in the world.

Supervisory sins

Congratulations.  Your are a Supervisor!  You are now responsible for your actions, your teams actions and achieving the goals of the organization.  You were the best at what you did and now you are in charge of others.  As a Supervisor, you will make many mistakes dealing with your team.  The key is to learn from them and grow as a leader.  Here are seven supervisory ‘sins’ you should remember and avoid.

  • Making Autocratic Decisions
  • Setting Foggy Goals
  • Displaying Inconsistent Behavior
  • Playing favorites
  • Abusing Privileges
  • Resisting Change
  • Ignoring Employee Potential

You have been warned!  Now, go forth and Supervise.

Take another English course.

Another Mini-Maxim in the series.

6. Take another English course.

My father has used this direction with all of my brothers and sisters and I have vowed that I too, will use it on my children,  I never liked to hear the words, they seemed to be a put down every time I mispronounced a word or used incorrect English.

One day after I had completed my second year in college, Dad and I went fishing and I mustered up enough courage to ask why he repeatedly said to each of his children “Take another English course.”  As fathers will, he responded not with a simple one phrase explanation, but rather a short dissertation on the necessity to use good English, good spelling, good grammar and good pronunciation.  “Employers will note these things on future applications and resumes,” he said, “and every organization needs people who know how to write and speak correctly.”  All these thought made sense to me, but he really made his point and drove it home some years later when half in jest and half prophetically he said “Who knows?  Someday you may be the editor of your own blog.”