18 Mar Easy is not always best
Today I am talking about working as a leader to optimize your team. The easy way to deal with your team is to just let them go and do what they want. What do you get when you do that? Chaos. Everybody will be working on their schedule on their pet projects and not working towards the vision of the company.
The hard way is setting expectations and holding people accountable for their actions. Obviously, the best way to do this is to start when they are first hired, but in most situations that is not possible. First realize that this is going to be an uphill battle. Some people will not like you when you start holding them accountable. But that is not why you are in this leadership position. You are there to perform the mission of your organization. You may be a business owner, a department head in a company or a platoon leader in the Army, the goal is still the same – get your team to work as one towards the mission.
The uphill battle starts when you explain your expectations. I recommend going over a blank copy of their evaluation form. This provides you an opportunity to let them know what behaviors are acceptable and what are not.
The most time consuming and difficult is quickly catching and talking to them about unacceptable behavior. This process is very similar to what is required to potty train a puppy. You tell them what is expected. Reprimand them when they do not do what they are supposed to do and of course praise them when they do what they are told. I find most managers have a hard time with this – as it goes against the grain to praise someone for doing just what is expected. However, that praising is important if you want people to change their behavior long term.
Finally, if someone is not doing what is expected of them – then it needs to be reflected in their evaluation or assessment. More on that next week!