Leadership Vs. Management- 6 Steps To Great Team Performance!
Join master business coach Michelle Landis, as she strives to create success and abundance for every business owner with the ActionCOACH method of focus, accountability, and results. Visit our weekly Q & A session as Coach Michelle tackles real questions on a variety of issues - and provides you with answers that will BRING RESULTS for your company!
Question of the Week: “As a small business owner, how do I get my business team performing at its optimum level - and does this involve leadership or management?”
Coach Michelle: The single most distinguishing characteristic of a great leader is the ability to create a vision and then communicate these goals and projections to their team members. But it doesn’t end there. A true leader will continue to motivate, generate enthusiasm, and stimulate pride in each employees work and accomplishments. But strong management is also a critical component - and you must understand the difference between what it means to lead and what it means to manage.
6 Key Steps To Optimum Team Performance
1. Understanding Strong Leadership Vs. Strong Management
Think back to your best teacher in your school years - a positive example who taught thoroughly, demonstrated through action, bestowed positive reward, and allowed each and every student to blossom and develop their own talents - all while demanding respect. It’s certainly a hefty job, and one that takes practice to hone. If you are experiencing a feeling of low morale among your employees, sluggishness, or frequent absenteeism, this may be a sign that your motivational leadership skills could use a jump start. Note that the qualities of a manager are quite different than leaders: managers focus on day to day functions and often times have a more directive and controlling approach. While a manager receives their authority based on their specific role or place in a company, a leader’s authority is intrinsic in their approach. You must be more adept at strategy and motivation.
2. Common Goals
Powerful goal setting is the name of the game for team cooperation. Knowing how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals and promote your philosophy through a solid mission statement and a clear vision for your company’s future is essential. Don’t let the fear of failure undermine your team’s efforts. Think of each goal as a learning experience, and be prepared to positively explore new options should your team fall short in a mission.
3. Rules of the Game
If your team does not understand the rules of the game, there really is no possible chance for success - it will be a solid strike out. Have you invested the time necessary to define your core values and to communicate the company culture to every single team member - including your outside contractors? Clearly defined rules should each have a function that is understood and sensible. The function should serve not to squelch creativity, but to remove the guesswork and distraction that can arise from trying to hit an unsteady target. This is also an area where managers and leaders can use their two skill sets to work well together. There is a commonly known phrase: leadership is doing the right thing and management is doing things right.
4. Action Plan
Do you have a clearly defined action plan - written down on paper - and in place? It is impossible for a team to function effectively as a unit without one. You can have an in-depth, creative, and focused team meeting, but if it concludes with no clear cut, step-by-step plan for the upcoming week or month, what purpose has it served? 90-plans serve as an excellent resource for they produce clearly defined written goals - with measurement strategies - and a concrete timeline. Business owners/leaders can delegate tasks to managers to ensure that structure, procedure, and solutions are being plotted and adhered to.
5. Take Risks
Mistakes WILL be made, but you needn’t fear them. Business is a learning process, and the best leaders learn from trial and error. You need to communicate to your team that the consequences of failure are not terrible…but merely help you move on to the next strategy session armed with greater knowledge and experience. Risk taking also involves embracing the Kaizen Principle - that continuous positive change in the workplace is essential, and that input from every employee is highly valued. Make them part of the process!
6. 100 Percent Involvement From Everyone
This principle not only includes yourself as the business owner, but every single member of your staff. If you truly want to bring your employees on board at optimum level, first make sure you have hired the right people! If you have come to realize that an employee is not willing to contribute 100% to your goals and expectations, then your job is to make sure that they get with the program quickly, or get rid of them. It’s your business, so don’t mess around with the kind of person who is merely floating through life on the easiest path possible.
If you embrace each of these steps, you are sure to get your business team operating at full potential. A strong leader can produce a strong team - and strong management can help their leader get the results he or she is looking for. In the words of Steven Covey, “We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”
About the Author, Michelle Landis
Michelle is a certified Master Business Coach and owner of ActionCOACH of Greater Lehigh Valley/Berks. She is an educator and a business professional with over 25 years experience in the business world running both small and medium sized businesses. She has an extensive background in education, executive management, sales & marketing, operations and entrepreneurial pursuits that include international consulting in China, extensive teaching and educational endeavors as well as executive leadership roles with General Electric, Dun & Bradstreet and Armstrong World Industries. Her leadership skills have delivered over $58 million to the bottom line. Get a BUSINESS HEALTH CHECK with Michelle or connect with Michelle on FACEBOOK, join her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.