I started looking over my leadership and managing teams blog posts and started to notice that I probably should put an overall leader checklist to it. I have had the extreme privilege of leading many different teams and organizations. When I first started out, I used to think about what I would want to see… Since I was an ace-doer that was promoted to supervisor – I had a good feeling what I as a member of the team would want to see from my supervisor. Over the years, I have expanded my reach and experiences. No longer was an ace-doer for the organizations that I belonged. I was hired not for doing the work, but leading the team to get the work done. I needed to change and add to my start up of those teams. Reflecting back, I started to see that checklist come to me.
Here is that leader checklist:
- Articulate a vision: Formulate a clear and persuasive vision and communicate it to all members of the team. Most organizations may already have a vision statement or mission statement. Look it over. Ask your team to communicate it back to you. See what is missing and come up with that vision that fits the team, organization and you (as the leader).
- Think and act strategically: Get ready to make your vision a reality. Time to set up goals that achieve that vision, both is the short and long term. Don’t forget to consider all the players and anticipate reactions and resistance before they are manifest. Being prepared is key to success.
- Honor the team: Frequently express your confidence in and support for those who work with and for you. Use your team to help with every step you take.
- Take charge: Make sure to set up a workplace environment that is about action (getting stuff done).
- Act decisively: Make good and timely decisions, and ensure that they are executed.
- Communicate persuasively: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Easier said than done. Look for ways to insure that communicate happens and people never forget. This is one area that I have experimented everyday of my life. Just make sure that how you do it is simple and the messages are clear.
- Motivate the team: Set up a workplace environment that your team can not wait to come to work. Enjoys getting their work done.
- Embrace the front lines: The one thing that I remembered before I was a supervisor was how most supervisors did not spend anytime with the team. They did not let the team do anything other than run the equipment. I promised myself that I would never do that. Including the team is something that I feel is necessary for success.
- Build leadership in others: Develop leadership throughout. Have no fear in losing your folks to higher opportunities.
- Manage relations: Build enduring personal ties with those who look to you and work to harness the feelings and passions of the workplace.
- Identify personal implications: Help everybody appreciate the impact that the vision and strategy are likely to have on their own work and future with the firm.
- Convey your character: Being yourself. Make sure that in everything you do (communications and actions) should point to who you are. Your team should get to know you – through you.
- Keeping it real: Make sure that you never let over-optimism pop into your team. Success breeds success, but watch out threats, unresolved problems and taking unwarranted risks.
- Build a diverse team: Leadership is a team sport.. Make sure that your team is willing to be leaders in their particular area. Make sure that your team is not clones of yourself, get and welcome a diverse team.
Walking into a new situation or team can be a little scary. New anything gets the heart pumping. I look forward to these opportunities. Makes me think back and reflect (and practice) my checklist… Try it!