Saturday, July 14, 2012

Get it!

Have you ever worked with someone that just “gets it”?
What a value this individual brings to your business. Do you agree that your role as a leader is many, but that holding people accountable for not doing their job is a top priority?
If you read my work, you know I usually write about recognition, motivation and creative work environments. But there is another piece of leadership, accountability.
So you hire someone and you are relieved that this is done and excited about your new talent. If you think about it, when you hired them, you agreed that you would basically trade money (their salary), for their skills and talents to fill your business needs. You showed them a job description (hopefully), set expectations, shared your goals and you two agreed on expected behaviors and a contract rate (salary) for this trading of skills. Right?
However, you begin to hear or witness that one side of the contract is not being upheld. Money is being paid, but skills are not being used, or worse your ideas, or even you are being undermined. Well what do you know, your employee is leading instead of you, straight to mediocre Ville and fragmenting your team along the way.
You think it’ll get better and do not address the issue. Can I ask you something?
What are you doing? You cannot turn a blind eye and overlook mediocrity, negativity and lack of productivity, among your team and expect others not to notice. Your lack of accountability can lead to a dysfunctional culture that smashes moral, extinguishes profits and causes superstars to look for another winning team. You need to hold everyone on your team accountable; favorites, sacred cows and even the untouchables and you need to be fair. You are building a team and running a company, act like it. You are not going to build a champion team when one of them lives in mediocre Ville.
On the other hand, have you ever known someone that just “gets it”? What a time saver they are on your team. Low maintenance and self-directed employees create high value and contribute greatly to the bottom line. These are most likely your next top leaders.
But if you don’t hold all employees accountable for negative behavior, your best employees will be the ones that do not "get it". They will think, didn’t we all agree to the parameters? Didn’t’ we agree to the idea, the schedule, the policy, the direction we are going and the expectations of this job? They will wonder why they are expected to act one way, yet others are allowed to act out. They will begin to question your ability to lead and you are heading straight to a dysfunction function.
When someone goes off in a different direction or undermines the entire focus of your team, the death cycle starts. Don’t let your productivity die. Don't let someone else lead your team in the wrong direction. Take action.
Do these things to assure your great ideas, your team and your productive environment do not perish.
1. Communicate – talk about your ideas, make sure everyone knows which direction you are going. Get commitment, assure understanding and hold everyone accountable, all the time. The efforts you put in will save you time and will continue to build momentum for your goals. Create a self-directed team by empowering peer interaction and leadership skills. Create an environment that is safe for anyone and everyone to hold each other accountable. Now that's a successful team.

2. Take it easy – But act fast. You don’t have to do everything in one day. Take measurable steps towards your goal everyday. If you can say that you have done something towards you goal, something to communicate your idea, one thing that builds confidence in your team, you are taking one step in the right direction. You will be able to manage these small steps. The key? Be consistent, be fair and act fast.

3. Be patient and stay the course – Don’t over react, but be sure to act when you, your company or your agreements are undermined. Be direct, address the conflict with a positive attitude to solve the problem, not attack the person. But don’t be lazy or avoid conflict by ignoring it because that’s the road to dysfunction junction. Don’t make excuses like you don’t have the time to deal with it. Deal with it, now. Don’t let fear control you or be afraid because of the dynamics surrounding the person. Who cares if they are your bosses family member, friend or employee that follows her around. Believe me your boss wants you to be the leader, why did they put them under you instead of under themselves? Think about it. Be patient with yourself, but take the hard road and stay the course.

As a leader, you are the one that has to connect each step to the desired goal, new idea and overall culture of your business. Exceptional work is found in the urgency to get it done now and the consistency to stay the course.

Communicate so your team understands their role and the set the proper expectations and hold your people accountable. Be inspirational, firm and fair.

You can’t communicate and launch your idea then retreat and let it fizzle out.
Be the person that "get’s it” for your boss and company and your value and your bottom line will increase significantly.

We can make a difference today.


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