Get the best out of your team and enjoy it!

20th August 2013   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

1. Be Inspiring

Inspire others to do their best by being a good example. Don’t tell people to do things you would not or expect them to either. It is your actions that define you and the ones that people look upon. Be a good listener, compassionate and seek to encourage those you lead when it’s needed most. Don’t try and be better than anyone else just be the best you can be. You will achieve all you believe you can and so will others. Challenge people and move them outside their comfort zones but support them all the while – they will surprise themselves as much as they will you. Remember to empower people then get out of the way.

2. Be Flexible

As society, technology and values change we are required to work in more flexible ways. These differentiating factors mean that each member of your team has different needs. Be flexible in your working arrangement as it is crucial and can be motivating. The result of your ability to be flexible is team work and team members’ effectiveness. Be flexible in your approach but stay committed to the end goal. Getting from A to B is more important than how you got there. The journey is so much more fun travelling together taking paths into the unknown. “Do not go where the path may lead but instead go where there is no path and leave a trail”

3. Be Clear with your Expectations

Setting expectations is the most critical factor in a successful outcome and yet many people fail to usefully set these from the outset. The most important part of setting expectations is effective communication. Clearly communicate what you want, how you want it and when you want it. There will be boundaries and a scope but everything else should be for the individual or team to determine. You will need to carefully plan beforehand to ensure what you are asking is indeed what you actually want. If you put the time in to communicating your expectations there is little room for disappointment and plenty of room for your team to flourish.

4. Be Assertive

Make decisions and be assertive. The best decision makers are those who make the most decisions. Decision making is a skill like any other and needs to be practiced. Made a bad decision – okay it happens, but it is your ability to learn from the decision and correct it the next time round that makes you a good decision maker. Made a good decision – great, but again it’s your ability to recognise why it was a good decision that makes you a good decision maker. You will need to make decisions at time with limited information. Don’t wait for all the information, as this is too idealistic and by then the opportunity has mostly probably passed. Good decisions are usually made on instinct and bad decisions are usually made by over-thinking or over-debating, so remember anything more than 20% of the information is probably too much.

5. Be Reasonable

Things go wrong. People make mistakes. Whilst most mistakes are avoidable it is important to understand that they were not made on purpose. Your ability to be fair and reasonable and to put a situation into context will gain you respect from your team. Barking orders, appearing to be tough and making a point for the sake of making a point, will not. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that by being fair and reasonable you are weak – this just simply is not true. “Your reputation is what you are perceived to be, your character is what you really are”.

Final Thought
Just remember to have fun as a leader, as it will not last forever. You will be more fulfilled by the contribution you have made to others and their resulting development more than anything you will ever accomplish alone. Surround yourself with good people who work hard and play hard, who don’t take themselves too seriously but are dependable team players. Success and failure hinges on your leadership and the people involved.

By Jamie Barrett

Quotes from Raplh Waldo Emerson and John Wooden