As a manager or a team leader, is your leadership and management style focused on building results oriented teams? What training and development programs do you have to motivate your team to deliver performance excellence? Somewhere along the way you have to make a decision as a leader to take control of the things that deliver excellence your team. This decision starts with knowing yourself as a leader, your dreams and desires. Then you need to pay the price to make your dream a reality by mastering self-discipline and personal leadership. That is what a leader needs to start building a results oriented team. Effective team leader’s best understand the job description, roles and behaviors of being a leader and how to increase leadership effectiveness through team building.
As a Leader are You Motivating Results Oriented Teams?
Unfortunately most managers or team leaders lack the requisite skills to motivate results oriented teams. They don’t know how to build teams and how to motivate team members because they themselves have neither built nor motivated themselves. Many leaders are not in control of themselves, they are not motivated, inspired or results-oriented at their personal level. This means they don’t know how to motivate people. They must understand that you can never give what you don’t have.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” …Bonnie Jean Wasmund
Do you want a passionate, focused, self driven and highly interactive team that delivers exceptional results? Do you desire a team that shows energy, warmth, concern for each other and a spirit of excellence? Then you must start by demonstrating these qualities as part of your leadership character. Remember a vehicle moves in the direction the driver chooses. It also moves at the speed the driver wants dependent on the gear engaged. The driver largely decides when, where and how the vehicle moves. And for the vehicle to make any meaningful movement in the desired direction it has to be fueled and managed. Similarly for a team to deliver the expected results the leader must motivate them to unleash their potential.
Many leaders may not be aware of the fact that to lead, inspire or to motivate others they must first lead, inspire and motivate themselves! How can you give something to somebody else if you first don’t have it yourself? Effective team work and team building is from inside out. Never the other way round! For the team to build the leader, the leader must first build the team. It is like building a water reservoir, first you build it, and then it can serve your needs.
Before you create and build a team you must start by asking yourself, ‘What’s the purpose of the team?’ ‘What are the expected outcomes?’ ‘What does the team require to deliver the results in line with our strategic mission and vision? ‘What leadership skills will be needed to build the dream team?
Motivating Individuals for Results Oriented Teams
The cardinal role of the effective leader is no longer directing people but offering workplace motivation for individuals to achieve results oriented teams. Great leaders don’t manage on a one-on-one basis but build teams that manage more of their own work. They understand the power in numbers by creating the appropriate team synergy for excellence. A leader also performs many tasks – the administrator, the psychologist and of course the guardian of the bottom-line. A leader in a team should be an enthusiast, a team builder, a good listener, and should know how to motivate staff by giving credit to others through recognition and praise.
Your team motivating purpose
Building an effective team requires many characteristics. Key amongst these is having a purpose. The reason for the existence of the team must be clearly stated and understood fairly equally across the team. The clarity of this purpose is defined by its mission. The mission is something that the team intends to do. It is the object for which the team exists as determined by the team leaders and team members.
A team without a mission and a vision is like a ship without a definite port to anchor; no wind shall favour it. It is at the mercy of the turbulence of the sea and cannot steer to a definite destination. The mission ought to be a clearly stated purpose that serves to inspire a great future. Through the mission the team has a clear line of sight to the future. If the future is neither clear nor inspiring the present can’t ignite the passion necessary to reach it.
The team’s mission is driven by the organization’s vision. The organization’s vision provides the “big picture” perspective that serves to align people, ideas, attitudes and energy. The vision is more of a mental image, for now, and which the team aspires to actualize over time. If the vision is blurred in the minds of the team members, they will only produce cluttered results. The vision must therefore be communicated to team members in such a way that they can internalize and are inspired to be part of it. To be successful, the team must align its purpose or mission to the organization’s vision.
Each member must have a clear understanding of the team goals and what is expected of them. A team goal is an end that the team strives to reach; it directly supports both the corporate mission and vision. Teams that are clear and agree on their agendas can direct their energies towards task accomplishment.
Collaborative Efforts in Results Oriented Teams
Effective team leaders involve team members in determining the requisite team goals necessary in nurturing results oriented teams. When team members get involved in establishing the overall goals of the team, then they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. They become more committed to that which they have helped to develop. This way they own their responsibilities and work with one another in pursuit of these goals. This is a team building discipline needed in order to create team cohesion.
Great leaders know the need of establishing a high degree of communication, trust, support and cohesiveness amongst team members. They appreciate the fact that the team needs to operate under flexible procedures using effective problem solving and decision-making methods.
Use of authority and command in decision making by a team leader, is no longer effective. Leaders must increasingly defocus from management and spend more time in inspiring excellence. This can only be achieved if the leaders choose to be role models for excellence.
When conflicts arise in teams, effective team leaders see them as opportunities for growth. They avoid the blame game and buck passing. Though they do not encourage mistakes, they know that they are inevitable at times. They don’t allow conflicts to antagonize team cohesion but address them promptly. They focus on creating a blame free environment where conflicts are used as stepping stones in the direction of goal achievement.
In highly effective teams each member should also demonstrate appropriate personal, interpersonal and group task behaviors. The attitude of team work, personal responsibility, work excellence and concern for each other become important pillars in erecting the organization’s success.
Great leaders empower team members and trust that they will do the job to the best of their ability. They avoid micro-managing yet keep an arm’s length since they are still accountable for results. An empowered team is more action-oriented and committed to the delivery of exceptional results. The leader becomes the coach and not the director in the team. He knows when to play with them in an attempt to bring out key skills for performance.
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