Here’s the time this morning and yet again I’m ‘off to the races’ when it comes to starting my day.
I got this amazing (and unexpected message) from Chill – one of our team yesterday. Didn’t see it coming.
It’s made me reflect upon some of the important qualities that I see as being critical to success when you’re leading a team.
And I wanted to break down some elements of this in today’s post –
So this is a critical one when it comes to expressing your needs and thoughts about how things are going.
I’ve at times definitely been too soft when it comes to my expectations (I’m thinking of the sales team specifically). I think this has come from my tiredness at hiring then firing then hiring….
And this going around in an endless loop seemingly without the success I’m looking for probably has come as a consequence of not being direct enough.
I’ve actually had 2 people in the sales team reach out to me and tell me ‘you need to be more direct and make it clear what the expectations are’.
So I encourage all of you to be this way – because I’ve lost thousands and wasted so much time because I’m not direct enough at times.
Be clear in your expectations
This is another mistake I see myself making.
The expectations I give are sometimes contradictory and conflicting and this doesn’t help anyone.
Again I’ve seen this happen where I’ve only ended up confusing people when the expectations aren’t clear and people then tell me ‘they’re confused’.
This can often come from me ‘shooting from the hip’ and not really planning what I want to ‘say or do’ effectively enough.
So keep this in mind when you’re giving directives.
And if things are too ‘fluid’ then take the time to really just think hard about what it is you want from the team and make a list
Prime people properly from day one
This is a mistake again I’ve made when it comes to different sides of the team.
Some have clear expectations as to what to expect from us, whilst others do not.
And when you don’t have clear expectations from the beginning then it becomes challenging to change this after some time.
I’ve seen this happen with my sales team now and my incumbent sales team. Challenges come up when you later try and instill change and it doesn’t work as effectively as you’d like.
Lead by example
For me personally (and it’s not for everyone) – this is absolutely massive.
When you want someone to do something…you need to show them that you can do it yourself.
Personally, I don’t have quite as much respect for people who are unable to do the thing they ask someone else to do.
As much as you can do this – the better – because it opens up all sorts of opportunities for you:
Due diligence. People will complain they are unable to do X, or it takes Y amount of hours. If you can then try the same thing yourself and basically demonstrate that not to be accurate – it ‘changes the game completely’.
I’ve seen this happen on multiple occasions when I’ve been told X/Y/Z takes this long to then find out upon investigation that it’s not really the case.
Respect. When someone leads by example, you’ll always have respect for them. So this is critical to your success.
Be A Motivational Speaker
This is a critical part of being a great leader as well in my view.
You need to be able to push your team forward and inspire them to want to follow them.
How else can you get people around you to do extraordinary things with their time?
It comes often-time from making motivational speeches or the ‘rah rah’ speech.
I’ve found reading motivational literature as well as learning (to a degree) the art of motivational speaking really feeds into the desire your team will have to follow you
Solve Your Team’s Problems
If there are things that slow your team down – make sure you solve them as quickly as possible
So asking when you have your daily meetings – what’s happening? How can I help? What’s the roadblock?
All of these elements will help with making the team as effective as possible
Your main role in many ways will become problem solving for your team.
Be The Hardest Worker In The Room
This one is in a way pretty self explanatory. First one in. Last one out.
That is the mark of a true leader.
In my instance that means writing these blogs. Waking up at 430am and finishing at 530pm so consistently working 13 hours a day.
This really helps others in your team see you set the standard of what’s expected culturally at your company
Be A Teacher
Always showing your team how to do things more effectively and efficiently is powerful as well.
This one I think I do relatively well.
One tip is to record everything you do – and start the video with an intro like it’s someone within your team watching for the first time.
That way if someone else watches they’re able to contextually understand what’s happening.
Pearl Lemon probably has over 1,000 videos across the whole team now when it comes to training and onboarding….
It’s a steady build up of processes over time.
Furthermore we have a Friday training call where I aim to teach something new each week or answer questions.
Keep Learning How To Be A Leader
This is about your own self-development fundamentally.
So reading, watching videos, and taking it upon yourself to self develop fundamentally.
The better you are – the better your team will be.
So be cognisant of your own limitations, seek to improve them constantly and this will also determine the altitude of your team.
As you grow – so will your role. And the longer I’ve stayed honest to my own shortcomings, being willing to listen, learn and implement – the better at leadership I’ve become
I wish you the best of luck with your leadership journey – I’m still on mine 🙂