If you are a manager, team leader or business owner there is one facet of your character that must stand out to those you lead and that is “authenticity.”
Your people want to know who you really are. Many times when a person is put into a position of “leadership” they feel they must act the part (whatever that means to them). It’s not long before their people realize that they are not being authentic and this is where problems will begin.
In the book The Go-Giver The authors teach the “Law of Authenticity.” The following is an excerpt from the chapter.
“As long as you’re trying to be someone else, or putting on some act or behavior someone else taught you, you have no possibility of truly reaching people. The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself.”
Here are a couple of tips to practice in being authentic.
Realize no one is perfect, be yourself.
Be present when you are with others.
State your values and then live them out loud. “Walk the talk.”
Be aware when you are not being authentic and change it quickly.
Being authentic is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and to those with whom you encounter, live and work with.
“I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all-important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are.” –-Charles R. Swindoll
It can be a challenge to find the ideal employee. The video below indicates 15 traits of the ideal employee. All of these traits are good, but is it realistic for one person to possess all these traits? Ideally, an organization would hire many people with most of these traits, but not all. A company thrives when employees have complimentary skills and traits. Building a team with complimentary traits make for a more balanced company. Still, watching this video can give hiring managers an idea of what to look for when building their teams.
Do you wake up in the morning and want to go to work? Are your employees feeling the same energy and drive as you do? Are they engaged? Does your staff feel valued and know that their contributions have meaning towards the company’s main goal?
Be aware of employee engagement. And be aware of it all the time, not just at review time. We hope these thoughtful quotes make you stop and think about the current corporate culture status in your organization. Is everybody engaged?
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek
“Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.” –Ken Blanchard
“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” –Stephen R. Covey
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” –Anne Mulcahy
When work is meaningful, good things happen. The wheels of enterprise move in a kind of synchronized motion and teams are truly happier. Engagement? – check. Great corporate culture? – check. What better place to spend half of your daily life but in a workplace where you actually feel happy and enjoy the company of others feeling the same.
Let these fun animations in the video below demonstrate the power of teamwork.
Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable says ‘Not finance. Not strategy. Not Technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.’
I recently had a conversation with an office manager who really seemed to be struggling with the “Glass-half-empty” syndrome. I know that we all can struggle with this from time-to-time, but this manager really had a bad case of it.
He had been working hard with his staff over the past couple of years and felt that no matter what management strategies he tried he still could not produce the “Super Team” he wanted.
I asked him to tell me what successes they accomplished last year as a team. He began to tell me that they did finish a much-needed protocol manual, which took much longer to do than he expected. They also achieved making a Facebook page for their company and to date have 156 followers, yet he thought they could have accomplished more.
And finally, they had reached their monthly financial goals 3 months out of the year. This was good, but not great since they had never reached them before.
When he finished, I told him that he and his team had accomplished a lot to be proud of this past year and if he continued to focus on what they did not do he would pass his negative feeling along to his team and then good luck in trying to motivate them to be successful this year.
His hard work with his team had paid off. He was just missing it because he was looking at the wrong thing.
He was leading them down the right road, it was just a little bumpier than he expected. I encouraged him to keep moving forward even if he and his team are moving at baby step speed. Little accomplishments are better than none.
“Success is not a destination, but the road you are on.” ~ Unknown
Working with teams of people are great when all is going well. It is quite amazing how quickly things can turn from great to oh my gosh! One team player stepping out-of-bounds or not following through with their tasks can cause a good team to go sideways fast.
Sometimes things can happen very quickly, like a team player saying something that rubs another team player wrong. There was no warning just an action that turned out bad.
When things like this happen usually they can be fixed if addressed quickly and the team does return to normal function.
It is when underlying things begin to infiltrate the team and they build over time that quick fixes are not going to work. There are a few key things to watch for as a team leader or player that may indicate that the team is struggling and if not addressed quickly could end up causing a divided team.
If team members start not seeing eye-to-eye on the purpose of the goals of the team.
If team members seem to lack team spirit or the energy to pump themselves up at work.
If two or more of the team members seem to often be at odds with each other.
If decisions need to be made by the team and they are unable to come together to do so.
When a team member starts talking more about themselves and not the team with regards to work goals.
When one or more team members want to quit the team.
As a business owner, manager or team leader you must always be watching and listening for the slightest of issues between team members. Not that you want to create a problem where there really is not one, but you want to be aware if one may be brewing that can be resolved before it escalates. Little issues dealt with quickly can usually be resolved. Issues left unattended, over time will fester and become infected with negativity and poisoned attitudes. These types of issues unfortunately rarely end on a happy note.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson
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