April 10, 2012

4 Mistakes Leaders Make With Their Teams

Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success. – Henry Ford

I enjoy the opportunity to travel and work with different types of teams in diverse cultures.  Most of the teams I work with have a strong desire to improve but struggle with how to do it.  Like it or not the primary way for teams to improve is for the team leader to improve their team leadership skill-set.  

When the team leader improves their leadership skills the team can mature and play at a different level.  In today’s blog let’s address the four common mistakes leaders make that caps their team’s potential. 

Mistakes and Solutions:

Mistake OneMy way or the highway – leaders manipulate people rather than motivate them. 

Solution: Recognize the “top down leadership” style always leads to command and control – limiting the potential of team members.  They will continually wait to seek your approval to move forward – thus stopping progress.  Try empowering people with clear communication to define the role they are to play and let them grow in their leadership expression.  You will find your leadership expanding, not shrinking, through empowering the leadership of others.

Mistake Two: Paperwork before people work – leaders focus on projects and cease to relate to the people fulfilling them.

Solution: Separate your project work from your people time in your day. Schedule uninterrupted time in the morning to work on your projects, and make appointments in your afternoon to collaborate with team members.

Mistake Three: Absence of Affirmation – leaders lose touch with how hard people are working and focus more on mistakes than motivating people to positive results.

Solution: Affirmation is the least expensive, most powerful tool in a leader’s tool box.  Try this week to affirm your team members as you witness them doing things well.  You will be amazed at the morale boost and increase in team results.

Mistake Four: Poor delegation – leaders that delegate on the fly – fail to equip their people for success.

Solution: As you delegate to your team, they are asking the following four questions:

1. What am I supposed to do?
2. Will you let me do it?
3. Will you help me when I need help?
4. Will you let me know how I’m doing?

Help your people help you. You hold the keys to a greater team.  The question is will you invest the energy to unlock the door of potential by applying the truths in today’s post? Go for it! You can raise the level of your team leadership and build a better team. 

To your excellence,

Coach Greg