One Tactic that Immediately Jump-Starts Your Team’s Results

 In Leadership, Leadership Development, leadership training, management, Rick Conlow

What do you do if your team’s results are slipping or down right poor? Check out these examples.

One by one, a new client’s team leaders covertly came to talk to me about their manager. The consistent message: “Get him out of the office and on the floor, and have him stop sending inflammatory emails and texts!”

One Tactic that Immediately Jump-Starts Your Team's ResultsIn another company, employees and supervisors said, “Enough with the bombastic meetings! They go on forever and aren’t helpful. Have her get in the field and see what’s really happening.”

The coup de gras was at one company where everyone said, “Where is Bill anyway? We can never get hold of him when we need him. He’s always tied up in a meeting or doing something else. Nothing ever gets done.”

In each of these cases and others like them, the teams were in despair, frustrated and floundering in terms of performance. Their so-called leader was either hammering them through critical text/email communication, negative meetings or was conspicuously absent when decisions were needed. Do any of these situations sound familiar?

Lessons from a One-Armed Baseball Catcher

One Tactic that Immediately Jump-Starts Your Team's ResultsThe position of baseball catcher is highly skilled. I know because I played it in high school and college. It takes a lot of work. Luke Terry is a one-armed catcher. What?! Yes, he had an arm amputated at nineteen months old because he became infected with the E.coli bacteria. As he grew up he wanted to play baseball, as a catcher. With hard work, help from family, and determination, he learned to do it extremely well. He’s a phenomenon! He reminds us that we all have tremendous latent potential regardless of any difficult circumstances.

Poor employee performance and engagement is most often not because of lackadaisical, unskilled people. It’s the result of poor and aloof leadership. With enlightened support, just like Luke Terry, employees can exceed almost any goal.

How to Jump-Start Your Team’s Results

Regardless of the reason that team’s results are poor or your role in it, you can change the dynamics immediately by leading by example. In other words:

  1. Stop the bombardment with texts and emails, and get out there with your team! Forget the marathon meetings. Managers, you lose people in the first 10-15 minutes anyway. Sorry if this is news to you! They don’t hear your diatribes even if you have some good ideas. Not being available or involved is a death knell to excellence employee engagement. Those actions are leading by edict or abstentia. It creates resentment that destroys productivity and people doing their best.
  2. Start showing up early or staying later and get involved. Put that other “stuff” on hold for a while and demonstrate teamwork by being a member of the team. So, get in the warehouse and load the trucks, talk to the customers, help sell something, handle a bundle of customer calls, and teach or coach with positivity. While you are doing this, get to know your team better, be the cheerleader, listen well and encourage your team. Learn about what’s working or what isn’t. Make positive changes, and keep it up.

Pulling It All Together

One Tactic that Immediately Jump-Starts a Team's ResultsIt’s been said that leadership is influence. I disagree. The above managers had influence, but it’s negative and inhibits good efforts. That’s not leading. I believe leadership is positive influence through leading by example. It can quickly jump-start your team’s performance. I have seen managers learn and apply it to achieve superb results. So, go for it today, and make the effort to be better tomorrow. You will tap the true potential of your employees and your career growth opportunities.

Here you go–assess your leading by example skills now. It’s a complimentary Leading by Example assessment. 

Or do you want a proven game plan for career success? If so, check out Rick’s Superstar Leadership book.

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Rick Conlow
Rick Conlow is the CEO & Founder of Rick Conlow International, a consulting, training and coaching firm. He has helped over 200 companies such as Target, Costco, Andersen Windows, Spectrum, Northern Power, Meijer, Carpet King, International Truck, John Deere, Lowes Financial, and Canadian Linen improve customer loyalty, increase sales and add profits. Rick has been a general manager, vice president, training director, program director, and national sales trainer. He has authored 22 books, and regularly speaks at conferences and to audiences of all sizes.
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