Leadership Has It's Own Frustrations. Here are 6 Problems & Better Yet, 6 Solutions
If you have been managing and leading people, it’s very likely you have felt frustrated by some of these problems. I know, I’ve been there and I hear it from people just like you.
And I get it…these are real problems that are exhausting.
Building anything, including your team, takes work. It takes time, effort, and a relentless dedication to keeping the course, upholding expectations, and leading by example.
Ready for some good news? I’ve also listed real solutions…here are:
6 components to building your great team.
Employee turnover. You are giving a big part of yourself to the team, offering perks to show you care. Yet, your efforts feel unappreciated. You just want to be able to catch your breath and work with some solid people who stick around.
Solution #1: Build Loyalty
Loyalty is a personal allegiance we give to another. A part of ourselves that we devote to another person, thing, or idea. It is by choice and a gift.
How do you get someone to give you their loyalty? Well, it all starts with seeing them for who they are…and that is much more than a worker bee. People are way too intuitive to know if you really care or are just pretending. You’re ability to relax, get out of work mode, and exchange pleasantries is what establishes these connections.
Not sure how to start? Use this daily practice to immediately feel things improving.
You feel you have to make every decision and put out every fire. It is overwhelming, not sustainable, and truly pointless since that’s why you have a team to help you.
Solution #2: Build Self-Sufficiency
Having a team that is responsive, confident, and can make decisions is imperative for them to take care of business and stand on their own two feet.
How can you ensure their decisions will be in alignment with your company’s purpose? People take comfort in having parameters to guide their decisions. When you provide these, it guides their thinking. They weigh the options and come to a conclusion that is in alignment with what you would do.
Keeping this simple is key. Use this decision making framework and defer to it over and over so they begin to think of it on their own.
The work seems stagnant, employees seem distant, your reports indicate that key areas have plateaued.
Solution #3: Build Growth
As Tony Robbins says, if we’re not growing, we’re dying.
Often when we find ourselves here it’s because we have lost sight of where we are ultimately headed. Where do we need to put energies into? Coming back to our purpose, what makes us who we are, pausing to collect ourselves, that’s how we re-focus on what’s important. This allows new ways, new ‘how’s’ of doing things, new ideas start to flow. It’s a bit of rising above the trees to see passed the forest.
Revisit what makes you relentlessly you (What does that mean…read this). Weave this into meetings, brainstorming sessions, etc., make sure that it is engrained in everything you do.
They do the work, but it still feels like no one gives a damn. They walk by trash on the ground, leave at 5:01 regardless of what is needed, and initiative is non-existent. Your team is not invested in your company’s goals…it feels like they are ‘collecting a paycheck’.
Solution #4: Build Engagement
Use these 3 questions to get a pulse on what they are feeling. It was my starting point any and every time I needed to re-engage the team and move forward. I would always include that if I don’t know about it I can’t help; it eases their fear that suggestions and opinions will be used against them. Engaging them here is step 1. Second, is following through with their responses and prove you are listening.
Let’s be honest…there is a lot to employee engagement. It’s an issue that plagues every workplace. Here is one more way to help:
Monthly check ins: If you are waiting for the annual review, then I suggest you scrap using reviews altogether. Yearly is just plain pointless, it’s too broad of a timeframe. Learning and improvement happens in the moment, and must be discussed at the time to promote understanding. Timing is everything, and that old adage is true here as well.
You are just too scared to let other people do important ‘stuff’. Instead, you assign low-level tasks to give the appearance of trusting enough to share responsibility.
Solution: Build Your Delegation Muscle
Involvement leads to caring leads to ownership. Simple as that. Be generous and methodical with delegation, set them up for success. Be able to trust that the results are going to be what you were hoping for…Here’s how.
Departments and people seem to have more friction than flow. It could be ego-based, lack of clarity as to expectations, or feeling pressured to perform.
Solution #6: Build Collaboration:
The Holy Grail of a Great Team
Collaboration is able to exist when psychological threats are eliminated. Cultivate a trusting and safe environment through developing group norms (check out Google’s study here on building the perfect team). Group norms are found at the heart of how your everyday processes are conducted. Can ideas be evaluated without judgement? Are meetings held with thought given to leveraging their effectiveness? Are witty comments for humor’s sake or at someone else’s expense?
Collaboration is proof what you are doing is working.
Just know this…and you’ve heard me say it over and over. Leading people is a relentless journey. As you solve these problems, new ones will present themselves (as you scale, as you grow, as you hire more people…things change).
But if you do the work now, lay a solid foundation to continue to build your great team, you will be able to handle new problems as they arise.
Now, breathe deep. Straighten your shoulders, and move forward. You got this.