Leading Your Team to Success
by Lynn Giuliani
A team is made up of individuals with distinct opinions, values and talents. As the leader, you need to tune in and acknowledge each individual within the team. By recognizing each individual, you help the team collectively succeed.
Never limit your interactions to a group setting or think of the team as just a group. What makes the team so special is all the individuals within the group. When you approach your team both as individuals and as a collective group, you gain your greatest return. Each individual should make their own unique contribution. Your job as the leader is to inspire each person to do their best – first for themselves and then for the team. A team is like baking a cake. Each ingredient in the recipe adds its own value to the end result.
Communicate One-On-One Regularly
Are you managing people or activities?
Sit back, look in the mirror, and ask yourself Am I doing everything I can? Look at each individual in that team. Find out their values and priorities. What motivates each person? What are their talents? Checking the temperature of each individual is an ongoing process. Leaders of winning teams are always working, observing and asking.
Do one-on-one coaching. Focus on each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Spend 2 – 10 minutes with each team member daily. When they come to expect “their time”; trust will develop and moving beyond one’s comfort zone becomes easier. The coach’s job is to help them succeed.
The best coaches ask vs. tell. Ask team members for their opinions and listen. For instance, find out…
- What is important to the individual?
- How do they feel about the team?
- How do they feel about the work?
- What is their view of success?
- What are their ideas on how to improve or to accomplish certain goals?
The Pareto Principle the 20/80 Principle
Every leader needs to understand the PARETO PRINCIPLE in the area of people, oversight and leadership. For example, 20% of the people in an organization will be responsible for 80% of the company’s success. The following strategy will enable a leader to increase the productivity of an organization.
1. Determine which people are the top 20% producers.
2. Spend 80% of your “people time” with the top 20%.
3. Spend 80% of your personal development dollars on the top 20%.
4. Determine what 20% of the work gives 80% of the return and train an assistant or support staff to do the 80% “less effective” work. This “frees up” the producer to do what he or she does best.
5. Ask the top 20% to do on-the-job training for the next 80%.
How do you identify the top 20% influencers/producers in your organization?
Examples of the Pareto Principle
Time – 20% of our time produces 80% of our results.
Counseling – 20% of the people take up 80% of your time.
Products – 20% of the products bring in 80% of the profit.
Reading – 20% of a book contains 80% of the content.
Job – 20% of our work gets us 80% of our satisfaction.
Speech – 20% of the presentation produces 80% of the impact.
Donations – 20% of people will give 80% of the money.
Leadership – 20% of the people will make 80% of the decisions
Picnicking – 20% of the people will eat 80% of the food!
When Challenges Arise, Incorporate the Following Steps:
1. Listening attentively to everything the team member has to say.
2. Ask questions that help clarify your understanding of the situation and then let the team member know you are paying serious attention.
3. Propose a solution to the problem.
4. Ask if the team member would be satisfied with the solution.
5. If the solution is unsatisfactory to the team member ask them what solution they would recommend.
6. If the team member’s solution falls within the scope of company policy guidelines and/or you have the authority to grant the solution it is best to act on the solution as quickly as possible.
7. If the team member’s solution does not conform to the company’s policy/wishes or is not within your authority to grant, then explain the situation and take whatever steps are required to at least try to satisfy them.
When you invest time and attention with each team member, the entire team matures, succeeds and becomes a stronger unit. Leadership is not a “one size fits all” approach.
“How you experience your challenges determines how much you learn”
Being a leader is an honor. Hold yourself accountable as you do your team members.
Here’s wishing you success…
Call Lynn at 360 319-6776 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
She will gladly help you with your sales success through individual sales coaching, classroom training or custom designed programs.
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TODAY'S ACTION PLAN
Spend time every day with your team members. Seek their input and ideas. Invest coaching time every day and personal attention in your team.