What do professional painters, singers, leaders, negotiators, and, in fact, most professionals have in common? They practice with multiple approaches and in many situations. They push personal limits (and the limits of their profession) by always asking questions about how to improve. So, how do you professionally shepherd your team through the roadblocks and challenges they face? How can you increase the chances of seeing the desired outcomes for the plans, priorities, KPIs, and BHAGs your team determines? How can you help your team become predictable?
1. Do I Have a Backup Plan for Success?
My experience with companies has confirmed that individuals, teams, and leaders are slow to recognize when they are failing. There is a natural optimism that infiltrates entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies with the inherent downside of failing to recognize signs of failure. This is likely because the signs of failure are drowned out by shouts of optimism. Successful teams and leaders plan and play hard, face the brutal facts of success or failure, and adjust quickly when needed. You might not have a fully outlined backup plan, but you will waste money, time, energy, and risk employee morale if you don’t face the facts when a new approach is needed.
2. Am I Leveraging Influence?
Studies confirm that the use of four or more sources of influence in combination is ten times more likely to succeed than relying on a single source of influence. That being said, are you or your team facing issues or challenges that seem to hang on, no matter how you try changing the force of inertia?
Your key to results is to enlist more than one method. Perhaps you have a lack of accountability, consistently low morale, or a quality issue that seems to be endemic to the organization. Maybe you have been trying to get recognition or a new position without success.
To successfully deal with issues, adjust quickly with more than one solution.
Don't know where to look for new solutions? You may be stuck in a rut. Have you been using the same sources for a while? Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't, keeping you waiting in the “no progress” line. Consider the below:
Enlist peer pressure and social support as allies.
Change your work environment.
Take a cue from your first-grade teacher; use rewards and accountability.
Consider ways to personally motivate others.
Longtime management guru Peter Drucker points out that exceptional leaders know how to ask questions – the right questions. Leaders that produce predictable results ask the right questions of their team – and also of themselves.
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