Turn Your Organization Into a Team

We often refer to groups, organizations etc as our “team”, but are they really a team? Teams need dedication and training. Here are some ideas to focus on when turning your group of peers into a functioning team.

Train, study and train, prepare, and train thoroughly, endlessly.

Strive to maintain individual stability and unit integrity; keep the same leader as long as possible if they’re getting the job done. Needless changes disrupt teamwork.

Emphasize use of the “buddy” system.

Never publicly blame an individual for the team’s failure nor praise one individual for the team’s success.

Provide the best available facilities for training and make maximum use of teamwork.

Ensure that all training is meaningful, and that its purpose is clear to all members of the staff.

Acquaint each individual of your staff with the capabilities and limitations of others, thereby developing mutual trust and understanding.

Base team training on realistic, current, and probable conditions.

Insist that everyone understands the functions of the other members of the team and how the team functions as a part of the whole.

12 Habits to Incorporate into Your Leadership Practice

1. Courage
People like to know the one they are following is courageous.

2. Effective Communication
You need to be a great communicator to effectively manage and inspire people who work for you.

3. Generosity
Great leaders share credit and praise where it is due. They are committed to their followers’ success.

4. Humility
Leaders who show humbleness will jump in and do the dirty work.

5. Self-Awareness
This is the foundation of emotional intelligence. They have a clear and accurate image of their own strengths and weaknesses.

6. Adherence to the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule says to treat others the way you want to be treated.

7. Passion
Passion is contagious. If a leader is enthusiastic, others will be as well.

8. Infectiousness
Not only have a clear vision but a plan to make that vision become a reality.

9. Authenticity
Be honest in everything. Make sure your words and actions align with who you claim to be.

10. Approachability
Welcome challenges, criticism, and viewpoints other than your own.

11. Accountability
Back up your followers. Don’t shift blame when facing failure.

12. Sense of Purpose
Understand your purpose and why you’re going there.

 

Unusual Leadership Traits an How to Use Them

These traits are not the typical ones we see listed over and over when speaking about the traits of leaders–but perhaps these means they are all the more important.

Calmness. Be calm when making hard decisions. It may be easy to make a decision but not always easy to make a good decision. If a decision is tough and emotion-filled, try to wait a while or sleep on it. Let the emotion melt away before coming to a final decision.

Grace under pressure. This is related to calmness. The still mind can more easily analyze a situation, a person or a plan. Try not to get agitated too quickly or unnecessarily. Handle stress effectively.

Consistency. Be consistent in your behavior. Employees want leadership they can count on and trust. Clients like to know they are getting the same person every time they come to you. No one likes a wildcard in business.

Persistence. Not everything is accomplished easily on the first try. Perseverance after disappointment may be hard to come by but will help. A leader who gives up is no leader at all.

Judgment. This may seem the most unusual trait and is not meant in the negative way one might first assume. Other synonyms for this may be experience, seasoning, or business savvy. These all add up to judgment. This is used by leaders to make decisions to yield positive outcomes not to punish or admonish.

Daily Practice for Leaders

Here are 8 daily practices for leaders, future leaders and people looking to better themselves.

1. Walk away from gossip.
2. Spend five minutes in another person’s shoes.
3. Give one person unexpected praise.
4. Do one thing no one else is willing to do.
5. Shine the spotlight on one person.
6. “Sell” one thing.
7. Give one person and unexpected hand.
8. Admit one failing.

These need not be “big” things that we do each do. Completing the list on the micro scale each day will add up to more than trying and failing to complete the list on the macro scale.

How to Maintain Your Vision for Your Organization

Good leaders are typically comfortable with who they are. This means they are able to do what needs doing and say what needs saying with confidence, even if that means sometimes breaking outside the current paradigm.

This conviction is what gives leaders the ability to create confidence in others. They are enabled to clearly communicate their vision to others around them and motivate them to their own successes which in turn leads to success for the organization.

A good leader is focused on what is best for the organization, unconditionally. They don’t need to prove themselves in the way a new member of the organization might feel the need to. The leader’s vision for the company always comes before their own self-interest.

While good leaders are confident decision makers and allows their inner voice to guide them, they should always be available for consultation and suggestions. Seeing things from as many perspective as possible while maintaining their vision is the best way to achieve it.

 

The Brave New World of Working from Home and Zoom Meetings

 

Zoom-style meetings and remote work are unlikely to go away the near-future and by many accounts are not going anywhere period. Whether in business or in school or another reason, if you’ve participated in a handful of Zoom-style meetings you know that while we see and hear each other there is still a sense of depersonalization when it comes to communicating this way.

In academia where previously the use of emojis, slang and a conversational tone in written communication were frowned upon many are now calling for the use of the colloquial emotional indicators to help heighten the sense that there is a real person “on the other end of the line.”

We will now have to learn about camera angels and how to interact with our audience in a different way. Public speaking and speaking to a camera are two different things. Those who are used to speaking to crowds have trained themselves to continual cast their gaze over the entire audience, making eye contact with as many people as possible. Now we must train ourselves to look at the camera in a casual and pleasing way as this is how we make eye contact during a streaming meeting.

Adding a personal touch when interacting with people inside or outside of our organizations can send a signal loud enough to be heard over all the digital disruption about who we are, what we do, why we do it and what we care about. The naysayers of digital technology worry that we will lose our humanity—this is a way to keep that as a part of your business model.