- Have a clear mission and vision
- Make it crystal clear how you expect everyone to implement your vision
- Provide ongoing support and feedback
- Hold them accountable when they stray too far from their purpose
- Thank them when they excel
- Admit when you make a mistake
- Strive for continuous improvement for yourself and your team
- Advocate for care of self and others
In the absence of leadership, expect one of four responses from each member of the team
- They will do what they want with their own interests at heart
- They will do what they can in an attempt to help the the team
- They will step into the perceived void in the leadership role and attempt to influence change the best they can
- They will feel compelled to leave due to loss of confidence
If you are struggling as a leader, ask yourself how much honest and supportive conversation you are having with your people every day.
If they are not responding to your mission in the manner you expect, they either do not understand your expectations, do not believe that there will be consequences for doing their own thing, do not have loyalty and trust for you (which must be earned) or have their own interest at heart, making them unfit for the team.
There are no shortcuts for direct, honest and supportive conversation, even if brief, with your team members EVERY day. This cannot be delegated and cannot be procrastinated. Talking to your team constantly, asking questions, saying thank you and building trust is the only path to loyalty, which is the only path to cohesive teams and fulfillment of your mission.
I implore you, if you are a leader, do not ever let a day go by without talking to as many of your team members as you can, giving them your full attention in a respectful manner and reinforcing your expectations and concern for them as human beings.
My best wishes to all of us who struggle as leaders and struggle with their own leaders. Be kind to one another, be gracious of our mutual strengths and challenges. Most of all, say this to one another every day, and not just today, on Thanksgiving: I appreciate you.