Sunday, October 24, 2010

Provide strategic direction to your team

It's great that we have our team together and through our continual coaching and feedback, things are working well. One of the challenges we face  to move the team forward is to keep our team in the picture, the big  picture!

Where do we want our team to be in one year, and five years? The main theme for us is to provide constant guidance in the form of our strategic vision. How do we see the team in the medium and long term. What do we want our customers to think over that period of time. Will we have grown  in statue and capabilities?

As leaders it's our task to ensure that each member of your team knows what the strategic plan is. Why you may ask? What if they're in a customer meeting and the customer is calling for some changes in one area or another, if your team members know where you want to take the team, this gives them the opportunity to introduce changes to take the team one step at a time to realise these changes. what's more if the team members are part of introducing this change they will have a much stronger sense of ownership.

Strategy for us is all about the long term and how to get there. To make this effective we need to know this like the back of our hand. Where do we want to be, what steps need to be taken, who in the team needs to grow and in what ways. Once we have this sorted in our head, break each of these ideas down to your elevator pitch. Explain each of these points in a thirty second burst, practice them.

 Now you have the picths in your head you need to deliver them to your team so everyone knows where the team as  whole is going and what role each will play. This will add depth to your team as not only can they do their work well today, but they can keep an eye out for opportunities to fulfill the teams future.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Delegate the right way

Team leaders are often called upon to delegate tasks to their team members, and this is a practice you should get into the habit of doing. To achieve the best performance from your team it is important to do this the right way. Many people think that telling somebody to do a job is delegating and in the crudest sense they're right however if that's your style then you are missing out on quite a bit.

When we delegate a job we need to ensure we explain what the job is, what the performance criteria is, when it needs to be done by and when and who to report progress too. Miss any pieces of this puzzle and your delegation can easily go astray.

Next time you are about to delegate a task be sure to stop a minute and get a clear picture of all the aspects. Then take a careful note, explain what the job entails - any aspects that must be adhered too, how the job success is measured and the standard the job must be at. Next outline the time-frames the job must meet, maybe it has to start at a particular time, perhaps you cannot start until a special time or event and when the job must be completed. Lastly and this is the one most people forget, who needs to be informed of the progress and completion of this job. Without the reporting aspect you as the leader wont know if the job is done, neither will anyone else who needs to know, so be sure to add in the component of providing reports or status update along with the task.

Follow these simple steps and delegation will become an effective way for you to get more done in a timely and complete manner and improve the overall team performance.