There was a conflict last month that prevented me from having this meeting, and therefore this post, but I’m back again with the latest round of leadership thoughts. To get the full context of this series start at #1.
Never complain. This is just a good life practice regardless of what position you’re in. People that complain are seen as lazy, negative, and are generally not people that others want to be around. In a leadership role, this is exacerbated. If you complain about something, then what do you expect your team to do? You can kill morale in no time by allowing this to go on. While you may have the normal human urge to complain about things on occasion, it’s vitally important to avoid this. You’re not bonding with your team by doing this. First, when you’re in a position of power, you’re going to be hard pressed to find subordinates that will sympathize with you. Second, if you think complaining is a worthwhile use of your time, then you’re likely not a very effective person, and need to go back to the fundamentals of how to achieve goals. I’ve noticed that many people, myself included, tend to have a very harsh self-talk when they need to pull themselves out of a funk. The things I tell myself in those moments would be wildly insensitive and insulting to anyone else, but it tends to jolt me out of any negative feelings in no time. Whatever it takes for you to get there, be it aggressive straight talk, or keeping a journal of what you’re thankful for, it’s easily worth it.
Over-communicate company news & goals. I’m sometimes find myself surprised by the things that some employees don’t know happened. It may have been announced in the group chat, then in a department meeting, followed by an email recap, but sure enough it’s always news to someone. This has always been a challenge to me, since I’m generally of the disposition that most meetings are not useful, but I think to keep everyone on the same page, an effort must be made to over-communicate all news and goals to the team. This is no different than attempts to do this with customers. We send multiple emails with every step of the order, and we should ensure our teams know exactly where we stand as well. As to the appropriate way to do this and the frequency, I’d love some input. I generally meet with the departments weekly and the whole company monthly to review top level items. While I’m still not completely confident in the execution, I’m sold on the idea.
Do not define your role too narrowly. This may be a small business thing, I wouldn’t know because I’ve never worked for a large corporation, but to be in a leadership role, you need to be versatile. Of course, you must learn to delegate, but sometimes you need to be the person that cleans up the kitchen or does the IT support or takes the overflow customer calls. Having the attitude that you have your set of responsibilities and outside of that you don’t need to worry will not get you far. You need to be capable of supporting your team in whatever way it’s needed, and usually most of that is not contained in a job description, so actively seek out ways to help out where it will make an impact. Performance reviews and team meetings isn’t enough.
So there you have it, 3 more points for your consideration. I’d love some thoughts on #2 if you have them, as I’m still working that one out.