Lambs to Slaughter: Where are Your Leadership Skills Taking your Team?
On the list of every organization’s goals should be growing their employees. Through thoughtful leadership and intentional company culture, many organization’s employees are provided with phenomenal direction. I liken them to lambs being led to the greenest pastures and being protected from lurking predators. Ask any person in a leadership role and they will confirm their sense of responsibility towards leading their team well.
However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Every leader that cares about their team wants what’s best for them. They truly want to watch them grow and to protect them when necessary. While leaders often work tirelessly to make sure their teams are taken care of, what happens when you unknowingly lead them astray? I’ve seen leaders hinder the success of their employees, albeit unintentionally, by justifying actions and inaction. The guise of continuity has prevented countless individuals from moving teams or taking different roles. I think every great leader worries about whether they are leading their team effectively, but are often too close to the situation to objectively see their situation. Here are a few tips to make sure you are leading your team to victory, not to the slaughter:
- Know your team member’s goals, motivations, and aspirations. We often defer to thinking staff enjoy the role they are in without verifying. We think, they must like it since they are still here. A great leader will work with their team members to know where they want to be. Then they will develop a plan to help them achieve these goals.
- Push your team to continually evolve. Stagnant teams are terrible wastes of talent. Every so often you need to push your team to be outside their comfort zone. Complacency is easily fallen into and can mean the death of ambition and innovation. Work to challenge your team and the way they view their role.
- Be generous with your time, your support, and your opinion. Being available and open to discussions with your team will ensure that they approach you as a guide and leader instead of just a boss. If an employee is unhappy or looking to move because they are unsatisfied with their role, they will only approach you first if you have built the relationship built on trust. Putting them first in conversations will allow your team to be more open and honest with you and their peers.
Leading a team is never easy, especially for the great leaders that truly care about their employees. Make sure you lead with intention and understanding. Your team will thank you for it!