Being a leader can be a challenging and lonely vocation at times. Any problems and issues filter upwards until they land with you to be sorted.
Information and initiatives come down if you’re in a big organization and it’s up to you to land them. If your team are not motivated and cannot deliver, the blame lies with you.
This is a pessimistic way of looking at leadership. Of course, it can be hugely rewarding too. Seeing team members rise to challenges and develop as individuals can give your job a nice aspect of enjoyment and if your team does deliver, the collective joy is worth the effort.
Leadership is a tricky thing to get right and it is easy to fall into the same old traps. In a constantly evolving business, you need to always be fine-tuning your skills, reacting in different ways to different situations. Your team are all individuals with personalities and different motivations. So one rule certainly does not fit all.
How can you keep your approach fresh and innovative though? What aspects of your role can you change to keep your team focused and onboard? We’ve got a few handy tips you may not have considered.
Nobody wants a manager like Michael Scott, one of the most original characters of all time. However, being different can be a great way to innovate. Making your team feel as though you’re approachable and wanting them to enjoy work can be achieved without the sort of calamitous approach Scott takes.
Why not lean on our article on how to develop a ‘Cool Team Name’ to give your group a sense of identity? If your staff feel unique, both in the way you approach them and as a group, it will help to foster positive reactions across their working day.
Innovate from the Start
If you truly want to be different and get fresh and exciting results, perhaps try adopting a different approach right from the very start, so your team knows as soon as they join you, things are going to be different. This could be in the way you onboard your staff. A Forbes article suggests an ineffective onboarding strategy could see you fail to retain good staff.
You could start even earlier, right back at the interview process. A post by Comeet explains how an unstructured interview can be more like a conversation, possibly allow your candidate to relax and be more open at the first point of contact. Whilst this will obviously help in terms of seeing them in a different light prior to your taking them on, it can also show them that you approach things a little differently, in a relaxed and innovative manner.
If it’s done badly, team building can feel forced and awkward. Getting the right balance is a huge challenge; if you need to build up your team then perhaps there are already barriers in place that you need to break down.
UC Berkeley detail how good team-building skills allow you to unite employees around a common goal which in turn leads to greater productivity. This doesn’t necessarily mean going paintballing once a month either. Why not try to encourage some interaction in the workplace, maybe short breaks as a team in which you collectively stop, enjoy a beverage and some brief chatter?
To make a true impression as a leader it is important to look at all aspects of your role and how you can innovate and develop your approach.
Every leader works under different conditions and with varying structures, but hopefully these ideas have given you a starting point when going back into your organization.