Updated: Sep 7, 2019
Why is this statement so hard for managers to hear and embrace? The first time I heard it was in my twenties. I thought at the time, “No way is this true!” I’m not responsible for John’s constant disruption or for Jean’s moronic behavior. It's their issue, not mine!
The truth is "Not quite." The fact is that I hired both John and Jean. At the time I hired them, they seemed like good fits with what I was trying to build with my business and they were. However, no one is perfect and with every person that is hired, you have wonderful traits and others that aren't so desirable. Whose responsibility is it to bring out the "wonderful" more than the "less desirable"?
I discovered the hard way that the responsibility was mine, and mine alone!
As team leader, it was all on me. I needed to learn to be a better leader and guide them toward functioning as valuable team members and future leaders. It was a tall order for a 24 year old fresh out of college, but I accepted the challenge.
I started learning about leadership skills and how to function as an effective leader that my team would want to work with and please. Now before you go off thinking, "Wow! This sounds so-o-o-o manipulative," think about this: Whose behavior can you control? The answer is: Your own! Right?
Then how do you improve someone else's behavior? It's simpler than you might imagine!
First, you set a good example. By that I mean, you model (demonstrate) the behavior you want them to exhibit. This approach works every time. Once team members realize that if they emulate the boss's behavior, work goes more smoothly. They eventually come around to your way of thinking and behaving.
Why does this approach work? Because the second action you take is rewarding team members for behaving in a way that is consistent with your "model" and remediating those team members who behave inconsistently.
When I took this approach back in the 80's as I was starting my first business, the team’s performance improved, their behavior changed over time, and I learned some important lessons about leadership, responsibility, and myself.
I’ll continue learning what it means to be an awesome leader that people want to follow because if I have a bad team, it’s on me.
How effective is your team?
Want to improve your leadership approach and guide your team to greater effectiveness? Let's talk!
Here's to balance,