As a leader, you can have several goals depending on the commitments of your position. There are many metrics that determine whether or not you are performing a good job. There are financial goals, marketing goals, and development goals. Several priorities are calling upon your attention. Where do you start? What is your number one leadership goal? A leader’s objective is to inspire and impart purpose. Your priority is not in achieving results but to help your team develop and get results through them. Therefore, your number one goal is to determine what motivates and inspires each member of your team.
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Imagine that you bought a plant. Your goal is to nurture this plant and help it to grow. You water it every day but you notice that the leaves start turning yellow. Worried, you read that talking to your plants may help, so you start talking to your plant. You give it words of encouragement and praise and continue to water it daily. You realize that whatever you are doing is not working. Committed, you decide to double your efforts so you water it twice per day to no avail. One of your friends decides to visit one day and you describe your dilemma. He walks into the room where you placed your plant and noticed that the room has no window. He then explains, “Of course your plant is dying, it needs sunlight”. You realize that while you spent hours giving what you thought the plant needed, you didn’t pause to try to figure out what exactly it did need.
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan
As a leader, it is essential that one of your skills be your ability to determine the development needs of your team and give them the support and coaching they need to be motivated in determining results. Not every member is motivated by the same style. Your job is to adapt your style to suit the development needs of your team members. The above example is a simplistic example of the importance of understanding what your team needs. A leaders’ priority is their team and their success. Thus in turn, your success will follow.
“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results. “ -Ifeanyi Onuoha
Here are 6 Strategies that you can put in place to help keep your team motivated and keep focus on their development.
Give Them a Cause
When employees feel like their work matters, their level of engagement rises. Show them what role they play and how important they are to the overall function of the team. When their work matters, they will feel inspired to perform well.
People want to feel understood and that what they say matters. Sometimes, it’s not even about being in agreement as much as being in understanding.
“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. – Theodore Roosevelt
One of the most powerful ways to stay connected with your team. Set goals with each member and follow-up on progress on a regular basis. This is a crucial investment that needs to be made. Often, I have heard, “I don’t have time for one-on-ones”. I believe that you don’t have time not to have one-on-ones.
Crucial conversations in order to correct performance issues is also a huge priority. Often, if you wait too long before coaching, the problem tends to be bigger.
Have you ever had a leader that is too busy talking to listen to what you have to say? How frustrating is that? The ability to actively listen to someone is a skill that has no value. Take the time to sit, ask probing questions, then actually listen to the answer. Your team will thank you for it and you will learn to connect to them at a faster pace.
One of the most frequent feedbacks that my teams have always given me is their appreciation for my listening skills. It is something that I’ve heard many times before and it is something my team values.
Be the leader that listens first.
Recognition and Appreciation
The number one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, 65% of people surveyed said that they got no recognition for good work last year.
Directive leaders often want immediate results so they tend to tell their team what to do, thinking it the fastest way towards results. What you will find is that often, your team knows what needs to be done. If your team feels that you trust them to make the right decisions or correct their own mistakes, they will return your trust with performance.
Do you agree? What is a leader’s number one goal?
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