Monday, 25 October 2010

Leadership and Teamwork

These are two key aspects of business and they can be infinitely useful when working on projects, demonstrations and deadlines. Yet in an ironic fashion, not many know what it takes to have a good teamwork situation or good leadership skills.

Although, this is rather situational- different situations (and certain types) will always demand a certain response.

Compassion over autocracy
Long gone are the days where "I'm the boss and you do what I say" is the answer for everythig from why your coat hook is gone, to why you're being transfered to a new office. Compassion wins many more friends (but does equally cause some to take advantage of situations). It allows you to get to know what drives your workers and why they do what they do.
Some do it for the challenge.
Some do it for the money.
Some do it because it's better than being out there on social help.
Whatever it is, whatever they do it for- find out! Connecting with workers in a more humane way will get more rewards in the long run. And, equally, you can help people achieve their potential. Two-fold reward: they're happier and you get more productivity.

Identify problems early
Nothing hurts more (in any sense of the word) when you're working your tail off and someone else is doing nothing, or seems to be, but is getting away with it (or seems to be). If there are reasons people do less (perhaps they are grieving) or are given a less strenous task (or a perceived task that is less strenous)- inform the group. Let them know how things are and how you stand.
Of course, at the same time, don't be afraid to discipline those who are geniunely doing nothing with no valid reason.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of just about anything...but is so easily overlooked. Talking, discussing and delegating also shows a great quality of leadership (command). People will feel more confident you can deliver when you say you can if you show you can, otherwise they might start to doubt your potential and that could lead to group members leaving or all out failure.

There's more than one way to lead
One thing that I've found in my day to day life is that (sometimes) the people in charge seem like the least qualified to be. They ask you to do something, complain about your results- but have no idea how to do it themselves.
In a leadership position try to find out as much as you can about each element of the processes and groups you're leading. Knowing is winning half the battle at the start as you won't find yourself in the eventual position of "what does he/she know?", when really it's not that you don't know you're just not sure.
At the same time, never be afraid to try different things- some people respect those they can trust, those that are fair and honest, those that appreciate their unique skills etc.
A good leader knows the majority of a battle is never played out on the field- it's played out in the minds of the people involved. Being able to reassure, to inspire and to lead these people goes a long way to achieving your goals!

They're only human
One of the things we forget, sometimes, as people, is that we are only human and therefore we have our limits. People get tired, people get annoyed and quite frankly you can't expect any less.
Super human is fun and all- but it isn't worth what it does to a person.
Take that into account always. No-one is completely on the ball every day of their lives, so think about how you would react in a similar situation. Often if you give and take in a fair situation, treat people how you want to be treated and be understanding if they snap after a stressful day you'll win more friends than you'll lose.
People often don't mean those things in a perfectly normal situation, and it's all too easy to say "If you don't mean it you shouldn't say it"- but have you always been perfect, too?

And there we go.
I figured this might be a nice angle to take as it opens the floor for a lot of conversation about things you've done, encountered and tips you may have for leadership/teamwork in your organisations.

As always- thank you for reading!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

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