In his recent Lessons in Leadership blog post, Knowing the Pulse of Your Team, Steve Adubato shares a video conversation he had with Joe Torre. Adubato ask Torre: “The greatest leadership lessons you have learned over the years, in life just not in baseball is…?” Torre responded without hesitation: “Trust.” He said that you need to know your people: “The players that you are asking to go out there and commit to what you are trying do and what you are trying to teach is the fact that they have blood running through their veins and we need to have understanding of each and every one of them. You can’t treat them all the same. My goal is to treat them all fairly.”
Adubato shares “some tangible tips and tools” that belong in the great leaders’ tool kit:
- Take the time to check in with your people and find out how they are feeling about what they are doing. The more input team members have into the way they do their job and the more they have the opportunity to share with you their own ideas and needs, the more motivated they are likely to be.
- Go out of your way to catch employees doing something right. This often doesn’t come naturally to managers. As leaders, it is so easy to be blinded by people falling short or not meeting our expectations that we miss when they get it right. Look for employees’ successes and when you find them, immediately let the employee know exactly how much you personally appreciate it and how the organization benefits from their efforts.
- Establish trust among team members by creating opportunities to build personal relationships with each other. You can’t force team members to like each other or to be friends, nor should you even try. But truly getting to know your people will also present the potential to put them in situations where they can interact, connect, and find common ground with their colleagues. Often, in a way they wouldn’t be able to do if you as a leader weren’t aware enough to create such a positive and collaborative environment.
- Share the spotlight by encouraging team members to voice their opinions. Allow team members to make presentations both internally and externally; in fact, don’t only allow it, but encourage it, report it, and reward it. Just because you may be the official leader of a team doesn’t mean you should be doing all the talking. In fact, when you do this you send the message to your team that you believe you are the only one that has something to say. Plus, you lose touch with team members because they’re convinced you have no confidence in them and their abilities.
- Don’t make every decision. Rather, challenge team members to find the solution on their own with difficult problems and questions. Your objective is not only to get them to think for themselves but also to have them identify options and alternatives that you as a leader may not have thought of. In the process you will not only engage team members and motivate them, you will also get to know them better—including the way they think or don’t think about strategic issues and decision making.
It is all about our trust and caring of others from which flows people knowing that they are valued and respected for who they are and what they represent. It is about finding and seeing the greatness in people and, most importantly, helping them see and find it in themselves. Those are life’s magical moments.
We are all so beautifully and joyfully unique… the unique pieces that we each bring to the magnificent mosaic of our beingand doing together. Let our thoughts, words, actions, behaviors and attitudes bring vibrant scintillation to that mosaic, and may its fire light the world of everyone it touches. Life is so very good.
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!