Does your leadership reflect your personal brand? In my last post, Build Trust In Your Personal Brand, I wrote about the importance of creating a foundation of trust with your team members. However, trust is just one part of the leadership equation. To get the best out of your employees, you have to engage with them.
Unfortunately, too many leaders see their jobs as a one-way street: they bark out orders and their people comply. This approach will inspire nothing. Burnout and dissent among your team members is a surefire way to destroy your personal brand.
Effective Leadership Requires a Human Touch
If your team has suddenly stopped following your lead, isn’t getting the work done or you’re losing talent to other companies, it’s time to ask why. According to a 2016 article in Forbes, people quit when they “don’t understand their role in the team and they don’t feel like their contributions matter.”
They may also be getting the message that leadership doesn’t care about their values. One of my old bosses loved calling her team members up on Sunday mornings to demand that they work even though she knew many of them were churchgoers. Her message was obvious: choose between your work or your values.
She had no regard for anyone else’s needs or beliefs. All she cared about was how her team could help her achieve her career aspirations. Not surprisingly, people didn’t tend to work with her for very long.
Seven Tips To Build a Strong and Engaged Team
If your team members are struggling to get their work done, have stopped taking direction, or worse, have started to leave the company, it’s time to assess whether your leadership approach is doing more harm than good. Here are some tips to right the ship and get your crew working again.
- Don’t play favorites: Acknowledge everyone’s contributions, spread the opportunities around, and make time for your whole team. People notice when the boss has a favorite, and that incentivizes underperformance.
- Treat people as individuals: Get to know your team members as people so that you can give them projects that tap into their skills and set them up for success. Remember, no two people learn, perform, or communicate in the same way, but everyone brings value to the table.
- Know when to push: If someone is finishing tasks quickly, ask if they’re interested in something new. If someone is working hard but struggling, find out how you can help. Then renegotiate the deadline or workload.
- Encourage them to seek new opportunities: As a leader, your job is to develop talent, not create an employee for life. When your people move to higher-level positions within your company or at different organizations, that is a positive reflection of your leadership skills.
- Be adaptable and compassionate: Especially at times like these, it’s essential to develop new ways to work together. Your employees may be dealing with a whole new level of work-life stress. Remember that everyone is doing their best and that old best-practices may no longer apply.
- Encourage honest communication: Ask about what’s working, what isn’t, and what your people need. This isn’t about being lenient; it’s about inviting people into the decision-making process. You’ll still have final authority but your team will buy in if they see you taking their opinions and experiences into account.
- Give people a chance: A resume is important, but so is the human being behind all of those credentials. When interviewing, ask questions that go beyond the candidate’s qualifications. Break the ice, and listen for passion. That’s what will make the difference when the going gets tough.
Remember: great people work for leaders they know, like, and trust. When you can put together a stellar team that knows you have their back, you’ll earn more, climb higher faster and build a personal brand with staying power.
If you think your leadership approach could use a reboot, let’s talk. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary call with me today! SCHEDULE