Teaming can be this big word, especially if you’re new at it. Really, it's just a group of people getting together working a problem, right? As a new leader you may be called upon to form your next team, perhaps your first one?! Here is where I would start if I were to build a very adaptable, high level, results-oriented team:
I know I’ve written about this recently, but it's an important topic. Meetings are the game field. Meetings decide well...decisions! And who wins! And how the team functions! Did you know: between 35-50% of meeting time is seen as wasted, most meetings start 8-12 minutes late, 75% say agendas are not prepared and distributed in advance, less than 30% of decisions in meetings are recorded, and over 40% of people don’t know the purpose of the meeting they’re attending.
This past week, wearing my other hat as chamber director for southwestern Vermont, I had the pleasure to present at the Vermont Tourism Summit in Burlington, Vermont. My topic was on “Building Your Brand With Local Talent.” Now, because of my job and my background, the presentation was heavy on marketing tactics. However, I was able to weave in some of my other passion - motivating teams.
Right, makes sense! With all the strategy and tools to get the marketing job done, we still have the fundamental challenge of human beings leading the charge. We still need to make sure our staff, teammates or freelancers are happy. This is where I often weaved in our CAMP Method of Motivation.
Right around this time of year, I find that my immune system just gives out. I had tried my hardest, forced as much sun-soaked vitamin D in our northeast summers, popped the multitude of good-for-you vitamins, washed my hands every time I could, alas I tend to get a cold during March or April. I think this New England body just runs out of reserves.
Equally, it can seem that way at work, at the gym, working on projects. We enter the new year with such gusto, however when we get past the first quarter of the year, the tyranny of the urgent can take our eyes off of the goal. We lose focus.
Results of a study conducted by Manchester, Inc. of 100 leaders primarily from Fortune 100 companies found that among the benefits that organizations received from providing coaching to leaders were improvements in productivity (reported by 53% of leaders), quality (48%), and organizational strength (48%). Among the benefits to leaders who received coaching were improved working relationships with direct reports (reported by 77% of leaders), working relationships with immediate supervisors (71%), teamwork (67%).
There was a direct connection between a person’s commitment level and his/her confidence in his/her own ability to do his/her job. This is typically identified as competency.
Ken Blanchard speaks about Competence and Commitment (C&C) in his discussion around situational leadership; however, what is rarely discussed is the relationship between the two and the belief that competency is a driving factor for commitment. Blanchard uses these two indicators to help identify an employee’s level of development, which is determined by the level of competency he/she has coupled with his/her level of commitment to the job or organization.
How do we find our way out of this tunnel of uncertainty and change, or at the very least, learn how to ride the rollercoaster while still continuing to develop business? As Drucker points out, albeit simplistically, if you want to predict what’s ahead, your best bet is to create it. How do we go about creating a model that can handle the chaos of today, react when necessary, and attack with precision and purpose? Here are some thoughts…
Many of those that have gone through one of my workshops know that I despise the word manager. It’s too sterile and authoritarian. It doesn’t describe the actual purpose of the role. When you have entered the arena of manager (welcome!), you take on a new role. You are no longer suppose to make the widgets, work in the weeds, mow the lawn! Yes, you doing so well at those jobs probably got you there, but it is important to know when you receive the title of manager, supervisor or coach, you are putting down your widget making ability and picking up the skillsets of guiding a team to success!
What makes a boss a bully? I believe that bully bosses think very highly of themselves, in fact to a certain degree they believe they are the only ones with the correct answers. Interestingly, this often shows up in mid-process, not in the beginning. Some will allow people to get started on a project or task, because they don’t fully know how to do it themselves. They will often not participate in the development of ideas, but focus instead on critiquing ideas once they are generated. Others will berate staff for not having answers early enough in a project and will supply all the answers from the start.