Here are four high level truths that your team needs to know about you if you’re going to be able to lead them well.
1. That You’re Grateful. Don’t assume your team knows that you’re grateful for their investment. If you haven’t expressed genuine thanks, they don’t know it. You might believe your team shouldn’t do what they do for kudos, but everyone needs encouragement from time to time. Your team is no different. If you choose not to show appreciation they’ll grow to resent your leadership and feel used.
I’m not just talking about a generic “thanks” here. There should be some thought put in to how you “show” thank you. Know your team well enough to know how they best receive gratitude. This makes your acts of gratitude go exponentially farther. Here are some ideas to get you started: 1. Write a hand written card 2. Take them to lunch (Let them choose the place). 3. Pick up their favorite drink on the way in to the office 4. Buy them a gift card 5. Verbal acknowledgement in front of the rest of the team or organization. Be creative and be intentional.
2. That it’s not about you. In the corporate world you can motivate people with a paycheck. That doesn’t work with volunteers. This is where sacrifice comes in. People are willing to sacrifice for leaders that model sacrificial leadership. Your team needs to know that you’re just as invested in the mission as they are. Here are a few examples of how you can do just that: 1. Ask them what one task you can do to help them reach their goals and DO IT. 2. Sacrifice financially for the good of the team and organization 3. Do work that’s outside you’re job description that others might view as “beneath” your role. Model servant leadership.
3. That you’ve got their back. Your team needs to know that you’ve got their back. That means backing your team on every decision that you can and not throwing them under the bus when people go around them to complain to you. It also means being a secure enough leader that you don’t run and jump down their throat every time someone comes to you with a complaint about them. Believe the best about your team and they’ll believe the best about you. If you want loyalty, you have to model it.
4.What the “win” is. If you’re a quality leader you can get a team to work hard for you. But a team will work even harder and more effeciantly when they know what the “win” is. When a team doesn’t know they’ve scored a win they end up drifting and becoming discouraged. They need to know what exactly you want from them and hear from you when they nail it. If they’re missing the mark they need to hear that feedback as well. Handing out orders at the beginning of the year isn’t enough. Consistant affirmation for wins and feedback for needed sharpening helps them always know where they stand.
There will always be more info to share with your team, but they must hear these high level truths from you on a regular basis.
What about you? What would you add to this list? Take a moment and share below.