Guiding Your Team Through This Extra Unusual Holiday Season

It is more important than ever that leaders don’t succumb to compassion fatigue with their organization this holiday season. Very little will be normal for your team members so being extra flexible will be the key to happy and productive holiday season in your organization.

Watch your team members. If an individual losing focus or a normally reliable person is dropping the ball this should be cause for concern. Watch out for absenteeism and people missing scheduled meetings and deadlines. If your team is becoming abrupt with each other or you find yourself mediating more conflicts your team could be getting burnt out.  Be careful that project groups don’t become silos and that there is trust and understanding between different groups.

Assure your team that you are there to share their joy and ease their burdens despite the unusual circumstances. Your employees should know that it is important for them to assume everyone has the team’s best intentions in mind. They are all there to take care of each other. Remind them of how they have succeeded and overcome adversity in the past. Be really specific and tell actual success stories.

It is important to remind them that while you will always appreciate strength and willpower you aren’t expecting a single person to be a superhero. If someone needs to step back and care for themselves, they should.

Ask them to look beyond the present and make clear your vision for the future.

Also, take care of yourself! You are not a super hero either.

 

Intangible Benefits May Be Worth the Most

No benefit, salary or gain will ever offset poor leadership in an organization or a bad work culture. Building good engagement with employees comes from having a clear strategy. This strategy should be setup so that it helps them succeed and generates ongoing successes. This is what will cultivate a culture of engagement between leadership and team members.

One way to engage team members in such a manner is to acknowledge their humanity. That they have lives outside of work. That they have families and obligations that may not directly or at all benefit the organization.

It is important to understand that these things matter to everyone from a gas station attendant to a high-level project manager making six figures. To ignore this is to ignore something very basic about humanity. Also, use caution when using family et. al. as a motivational tool—the line between motivation and manipulation feels different for everyone. What is in your comfort zone may not be in someone else’s.

Benefits and perks regarding giving team members room to live their lives and have time for family aren’t strictly speaking free; however, the benefit typically outweighs the cost in terms of team member wellness.

Five Tips for Starting a New Business

Being with a Focused Plan

In the beginning stages of building a business it is essential to have a focused approach to avoid wasting time and resources. Know what your plan is upfront and act on. You’ll experience less frustration if you are ready with a plan of action.

Secure Funding

Wherever your money is coming from make sure you’ve got it for sure. While there is some truth to the adage you have to spend money to make money, if you don’t have it you can’t spend it.

Networking

Keeping up a simple, professional online profile is a start; however you need to be in personal communication with local officials like your city chamber of commerce and others. Social capital is important. While the corona virus has canceled most “shoulder rubbing” events there are still ways to get connected with local officials and other business owners through online events.

Figure Out What Makes Your Business Unique

Knowing what makes you special is important. This should be integrated into many aspects of your business without over doing it. Asking your costumers and employees can help with this.

Be Ready and Willing Accept and Adapt When Change Happens

The corona virus pandemic is a perfect example. Whatever your business is, some kind of large change outside of your control will happen at some point in the lifetime of your business. Be ready for it, accept it and move on to planning to adapt to these new challenges.

 

 

 

Grace Hooper

Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first compiler related tools. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today.

Hopper had attempted to enlist in the Navy during World War II, but she was rejected by the military because she was 34 years of age and too old to enlist. She instead joined the Navy Reserves. Hopper began her computing career when she worked on the Harvard Mark I team that was led by Howard H. Aiken.

Owing to her accomplishments and her naval rank, she was sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”. The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper was named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC. During her lifetime, Hopper was awarded 40 honorary degrees from universities across the world. A college at Yale University is named in her honor. In 1991, she received the National Medal of Technology. On November 22, 2016, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

 

Are Your Team Members Planning on Leaving?

As a leader it is good to know if someone is thinking of leaving the organization. Listed below are some behaviors that may indicate someone is planning on leaving. As a leader, you can address these behaviors calmly and rationally.

They have shown less interest in working with clients than usual.

They have left early from work more frequently than they normally do.

Their work productivity has gone quite a bit recently.

They don’t seem interested in upholding the vision of the organization.

They have spoken more about not being happy with other team members.

They have been much less of a team player lately; they keep to themselves.

They have just been doing the “minimum” frequently as of late.

They have said they weren’t getting along with their co-workers recently.

They haven’t be interested in long term goals and projects.

Generally speaking, their attitude has been negative.

They have been a “low effort” “low motivation” team member lately.

Addressing these issues will be necessary as a leader whether they problem is the team member is planning on leaving or not.

Thinking About Leadership

W.C.H. Prentice in a landmark article defined leadership thusly: “the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of human assistants”

Prentice believed a successful leader is one who understands people’s motivations. They are someone who enlist organization members’ participation in a way that brings together the interests and needs of individuals to the group’s purpose. Prentice believed in a democratic leadership that gives organization members a space in which they can learn and grow. Yet, this space needs governed so there is not anarchy.

Prentice’s ideas about how to motivate people to support the organization’s purpose is timeless.

Leaders should always be getting to know their group’s members so they can understand their motivations. And one learning about those motivations using them as impetuous to spur that group member into action for the benefit of the organization and themselves.

Material rewards are important but there should also always be room for personal growth, and it is the leader’s job to create that opportunity. This personal growth should be linked both to the group member’s motivations and too the goals of the organization.