In our last blog, we talked about the blessing and curse of being a leader.  We discussed how necessary leadership is to any growing company, and how it can be overwhelming for a leader to balance the needs of their team and their own.  Let us share the first of several simple strategies to provide leadership for your team, in a leveraged, structured manner. These strategies produce results, while allowing you to maintain a balance between the demands of your team and your own needs.

Always Lead by Example

This is cliché, so cliché it’s overlooked in every single company we have worked with.  It’s fundamentally simple.  If you are late to meetings, so will your team.  If you listen to hearsay, so does your team.  If you don’t complete projects on time, neither will they.  If you don’t come to meetings prepared, don’t be surprised when your team schedules over them.  Be very aware – as this rarely shows up to yourself as obvious or “no duh”.  You’re a professional and your intent clearly is not to declare, “Oh to heck with it, I’ll just wing it.”  Instead you have a client emergency that morning, show up to the team meeting five minutes late out of breath, unprepared and frustrated that your team isn’t already in the thick of The Monday Morning Strategy Experience™.  Think about it – if you allow client emergencies to happen on Monday morning and fashion havoc on your team meeting, then make certain to carve out time at the end of your day to prepare on Friday.  Emergencies happen.  Don’t cut your preparation time so close to the meeting that one emergency can blow your day.  Whenever there are habits or a culture in your team you don’t like, look to how you may have given permission for this to happen and become the new standard.  Just take a moment and look that you may have opened the door for the perception that the team now has a really valid reason for being late and unprepared.  If you don’t stop and evaluate your behaviors, your team will not only repeat the same mistakes but it will quickly become the “norm”. 

We know you may be thinking, “This is silly…I already know this”. Chances are you probably do.  But can see you see it and rectify it within your own team?  We encourage you to just pay attention over the next few weeks to situations or team’s actions that irritate or disappoint you.  Just check in and see if there was any example you may have unintentionally set or allowed other team members to set.  Again, the purpose isn’t to blame yourself or others, it’s simply to recognize the cause and effect of behavior.  Try intentionally leading by example in a certain area that is really bugging you.  You might not see results the first time, but keep at it, and soon enough quality team will rise to the standard you set.  This is a simple, but devastatingly effective, way to provide leadership that produces positive results.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we will continue to share strategies to lead in a leveraged manner.