Five Leadership Tips
Teamwork is a critical dimension in today’s modern workplace; it’s how most work gets done. Teams exist for one purpose, to produce results.
“A manager’s core reason for existence is to improve the performance of the organization as a whole.”-Andy Grove, High Output Management
Leaders who deliberately focus on building high-performing teams understand that they are creating a competitive advantage for their organization. Results-focused team cultures also attract and retain top talent.
As important as teams are, they only perform as well as the individuals on it. The familiar maxim, there is no “I” in team, gets it half wrong. There are three “I’s” in individual. At the end of the day, when the cash register stops ringing, results are the sum aggregate of everyone’s individual performance.
Five Leadership Tips for Eliciting Top Performance from Individuals
- Adopt a coaching mindset. Most elite performers, in any discipline, credit a coach or teacher as instrumental in their development and achievements. Coaching implies a different skill set and tools than management. Great coaches tap into everyone’s key motivators and create the conditions that facilitate people to be their best.
- Establish regular, structured (at least monthly) one-on-one meetings. Ensure 50% of the agenda is focused on the team member’s development versus work reviews and issues.
- Be tough on standards, gentle on people. Nobody is motivated by low expectations. High performers are motivated and attracted to work with managers who relentlessly pursue operational excellence. Remember the “love” part of tough love. It sounds trite, but the adage – nobody cares what you know until they know how much you care, rings true.
- Set stretch goals, milestones, and measurements. Think like a great athletic coach and approach your people like elite athletes. A stretch goal is a target that cannot be immediately achieved; it’s beyond the scope of an individual’s current skills and abilities. With a well-designed training plan, effort, and on-going feedback and coaching, the athlete believes that goal attainment is eventually possible.
- Create a scoreboard. Your people want to know if they’re winning, or losing, the game called work. The scoreboard at a sports game is designed for the players and fans. Transparency and clarity increase employee engagement, fosters teamwork, and reduces stress.
Effective managers embrace a yes/and mindset. In the pursuit of continuous improvement and long-term results, leaders develop the team, motivate and coach individuals to be their best.
Maximizing individuals’ contributions requires managers to think like a sports coach. This dynamic role demands managers develop their coaching skills and implement performance management structures that facilitate ongoing growth and performance.
Steve Rudolph Coaching helps growth-minded leaders create people-first strategies that drive continuous improvement and results.
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