By Duncan Brodie
We all know that when a team performs to its potential it can deliver great results. At the same time, great results don’t happen by chance. How a team is lead or managed can greatly impact on the success of a team. So what in my experience are the 10 essentials in leading and managing a team?
Essential 1: Providing Direction
Every team needs to have clarity about what it is trying to achieve. As the leader or manager, you need to be able to present a clear vision of the direction of travel in a way that gets the support and buy-in of others.
Essential 2: Setting Clear Objectives
The big picture is great but you need to be able to translate that big picture into specific objectives for individuals on the team. Vagueness about contribution generally leads to mediocre performance.
Essential 3: Motivating Others
So often, when I am working with groups they complain that their team is lacking motivation. Interestingly, when I ask them when was the last time they asked others what motivates them, they struggle to answer. Before you can motivate others, you need to understand what makes others tick. Take the time to find this out, listen and then try to give them as much as possible of the work that fires them up.
Essential 4: Spreading The Load
On any team there will always be people who will go the extra mile. In my experience work has a habit of migrating to good and busy people. The challenge is to try and spread the load so that your highly motivated people don’t feel like they are being dumped on.
Essential 5: Dealing With The Different Personalities
People are all slightly different and have their own values. The challenge is to be able to adapt to different personalities, rather than trying to adopt one approach for everyone.
Essential 6: Delegating Effectively
Control freaks who cannot let go and trust others are always going to struggle to perform at their peak. Delegation is not an option if you want to achieve success, it is a necessity.
Essential 7: Managing Up And Down
Those senior to you have expectations as do those who are less junior. The challenge is to keep both on board. Knowing what matters can really make a difference.
Essential 8: Handling Difficult Situations
Difficult situations will come up from time to time. While you might wish that they did not happen, whether it is a problem with people, process, expectations or performance, you need to deal with it.
Essential 9: Tracking Performance
It might not be the favourite part of the job but you need to keep track to ensure things are moving forward. Effective follow up is key.
Essential 10: Appraising Individual Performance
Of course a team likes to know how it is doing and so do individuals on a team. Appraising performance and giving feedback is an important skill for leaders and managers.
The Bottom Line: Teams don’t just deliver by chance. Good leadership and management really makes a difference.
To become an even better leader I invite you to sign up for my free audio e-course Leadership Success at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk/leaders-main.html
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with accountants, health professionals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability. With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.