Your Team is Looking for a Good Fight

Organizations will either come together in a fight for a common goal, or turn inward and fight each other.

Look at any club, family, church, department, nation, or business you are a part of. When does the most infighting take place? Is it during a fight for its life? When pushing towards a common mission?

Nope.

Big, slow moving companies like Microsoft know what I’m talking about. So does the PTA at an already successful school. They’ve lost purpose. They lose focus.

When there is nothing big to fight, they find stupid little things to focus on and whine about. In the end up, they fight each other.

Whether they admit it or not, most people are warriors.

They’re looking for a good fight. They need a mission.

Leaders with a vision can keep people focused on a common goal. They rally their troops and get them fighting together, not against each other.

We need to embrace our team of warriors and give them something to fight for.

All warriors need a mission.



Lead a mission tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Leadership: Motivation Is the Easy Part

This won’t apply to everyone.  If you have trouble staying motivated, my blog isn’t for you.  Try the thousands of CD’s, DVD’s, or books out there designed to motivate you.  (Or try a motivational speaker instead)

For 8pm Warriors, motivation is the easy part.

By nature, we’re motivated people. We have goals.  We have bright visions.  We have big dreams.

Assuming that we also have brains, some level of success is a foregone conclusion.

Unless we get demotivated.

When you find and lead motivated people, remember that the key to success isn’t motivation.  It’s avoiding demotivation.

  • Eliminate distractions
  • Be sensitive to their needs
  • Act respectfully
  • Operate in an open and honest manner
  • Share information
  • Maintain stability

Chances are you already know these suggestions.  Now it’s time to focus on them.

Have a focused night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The Magic of User Friendly Leadership

Once upon a time, employees existed to serve their bosses.

Those days are over.

If you want your team members focused on your customers, patients, students, or other team members, you need to figure out what they need, give it to them, and get out of the way. Leaders need to be user friendly.

  • If they have a better way, let them do it.
  • When they have something to teach you, learn from it.
  • As they need guidance, be consistent.
  • If they need you, be there.

They are your customers. Leadership is your product.

Make it user friendly.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Why is half your team unhappy? Why are 25% leaving?

It’s always someone else, some other company, some other leader.

The fact remains that most American workers are unhappy with their position.  25% don’t plan on staying at your company.

Since most companies have laid off everyone possible, the reality is that members of your core team may be dissatisfied.

Why?

Do we ask for more each year and give less in return?

As a whole, we’ve laid off middle management and cut support.

  • We’ve cut budgets
  • We’ve cut benefits
  • We ask for more
  • We pay less

Have we laid off the joy?  Have we forgotten about people?

What’s the cost of that?

Only you can answer that for your organization.

I know I’ve got work to do…

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Celebrate the Little Victories Today

Your best memories…

Most involve a celebration.  Right?

People look forward to celebrating.  It has the power to motivate, uplift spirits, and create treasured memories.

So why don’t we do it more?  Why wait for big things to celebrate?

The greatest leaders I know remember to celebrate the little victories in their organization.  A successful sales call, new team member, or positive feedback from a client are all great reasons to buy lunch, grab drinks, or simply make an announcement.

It’s a simple way to keep your team happy, motivated, and loyal without hurting your budget with new raises, bonuses, or fringe benefits.

Who wants to leave a team that creates positive memories?

No one.

Regardless of who you’re leading (even yourself), remember to celebrate the little things today.

Have a celebration tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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5 Things to Do After a Business Breakup

“John Smith is no longer with the company. Please forward all phone calls to me.”

This is not one of them.

In one of my first jobs after college, the company I worked for would send out emails like this every time someone got fired or left. No discussion. No explanation. Simple and cold.

The problem is that even your best employee inserts their name into John Smith’s place.  No one wants all their time, relationships, and energy summed up with the simple phrase “John or Jane Smith is no longer with the company.”
 

Most jobs come to an end, but we all want to believe that we’d be missed, celebrated, and respected.

It’s an emotional situation.

If someone leaves, is fired, or laid off, it should be traumatic to you as the leader. After all, it probably means you failed.

You hired the wrong person, didn’t build the relationship, or made decisions (or didn’t make decisions) that led to a need for downsizing. Obviously, people sometimes do unexpected things that make everyone feel good about a firing, but most times a firing ought to be the toughest thing you do as a leader.

But not for everyone else.

Those who are left behind need to feel like they are safe, appreciated, and respected.

Here are 5 things to do after a business breakup:

1)  Be Honest

Don’t say much more than the basics, but what you do say should be honest.  When you answer questions tell the truth.  It always gets out and you don’t want to ruin your trust with the remaining team members.

2)  Be Respectful

Focus on the positive things the former team member did.  Be thankful for the good things and do not bash them.  How you speak of the former team member is how others will picture you treating them if they’re gone.

3)  Talk about the Future

Just like any relationship, people know that a relationship is intact when you talk about the future of it.  Understandably, some of your team may be nervous if you let someone go, so it’s important to reassure them that the future is fine and they are part of it.

4)  Pay Attention

If one of your team members is close to the former employee, make sure you pay special attention to them. Pull them aside to discuss the situation and ask them to share their feelings with you.  Listen.

5)  Be Human

Let your team know that you have feelings.  Don’t be a strong leader, be a human one.  You just used the big stick, now it’s time for the quiet voice.  It’s time to share some emotions and make people comfortable again with you.  The more they know of you, the safer they feel.

Whatever you do, do not treat it like a regular day.  It is not.  It is the day you lost a part of your team.

How you act will show the world what you think of your team.

Have a great night!

Aaron@Biebert

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The Myth of Teamwork?

I just read Skip Weisman’s blog about the “Myth of Teamwork” and was impressed.  Not because I think teamwork is a myth, but because it’s high time someone took a look at why teamwork isn’t successful many times.

It is because individual team members fail.

However, I think that Skip misses the fact that teamwork is more than just the actions associated with working as part of a team.  It is a culture, a mindset, a way of working and winning together, not just as individuals.

But it does start with individuals.

The Problem of Teamwork in Certain Cultures

A teamwork mindset requires confidence in others.  Continual failure by fellow team members creates  a disincentive to rely on someone else, the very foundation of teamwork.

Therefore, for it to be effective, members of the team must do their work effectively and earn the trust of their peers.  Otherwise, people resort to depending on themselves primarily (“it’s faster if I do it myself” mentality), a fatal blow not just to the concept of teamwork, but delegation and collaboration as well.

Organizations that hire great people and teach those great people to understand and trust each other, incubate more than just a teamwork culture.

They incubate success.

On the flip side, teamwork is a joke in organizations that hire sloppy people and then allow poor performance to continue, while at the same time preaching that people need to work together.  The second part of teamwork is “work”, and it needs to be done well for teamwork to succeed.  Otherwise, they’d be better off letting their few “All Stars” do the process or project themselves, rather than introducing broken cogs into the system.

I can’t count how many times leaders in organizations I’ve assisted have lost focus on cleaning up poor individual work performances, and have instead brought in consultants to help do fruitless team building exercises.

Without individual success, teamwork is indeed a waste of time.

One Idea for Team Building

We have to listen to our staff and actively seek their feedback.  If your team is dysfunctional, it’s time to ask your team why.  When dealing with team problems, I always start by interviewing everyone involved and asking what the problem is.

Nine times out of ten, they have the answer already figured out.  They almost always know if they should trust their teammates to finish their part correctly, and encouraging them to “work together” is frustrating and pointless.

For true team building, leaders must hold their individual team members to a high standard first (build trust in performance), then help them see the excellence they each bring to a project (understanding).  Only at that point will the handoffs  be smooth, the communication open, and synergies will begin to appear.

Have an excellent night,

Aaron@Biebert