Performace grows with confidence and knowledgeTweet
Taking inspiration from others' success has been a driving factor throughout my career. I have come to the conclusion that unless you are running a football team, talent has very little to do with success.
Whilst some kids are born with the amazing ability to play the piano before they can walk, I simply don't beleive any are born with the ability to design CAD drawings, manufacture parts or lead people 20 years older than themselves.
This article is not just my opinion, it is a fact based observation based on the results of around 50 improvement projects.
Time and time again, I have started a consultancy project and been told by a manager, that the problem lies within his or her team. They claim that the team is not up for the job and explain that they would be a great leader if only they had some decent employees.
It would be easy now to arrogantly laugh behind the backs of these managers and claim they are not fit for leadership, but would that not mean we had become them? Instead, let's dive a little deeper and find out what is truly driving this issue.
Of course, I agree that some people take easier to management than others and that is often because they have matured in the right environment. Einstein told us the best way to teach is to set an example, even if its a bad one.
I also fully accept that some simply don't want to manage people. In general, these people will not have actively applied for a management position, they will have been asked to accept one.
Probably the most advantageous part of being a consultant, is the fresh eyes one brings to an existing system. I invite my customers to put on their "wrong glasses" in order to see the abstract situation without the details which have been holding them back.
It soon becomes clear that by following a more logical approach, teams can achieve much more. We start by finding the facts, measuring the opinions against reality, using key performance indicators wherever we can.
Once the situation is clear, we enable the team to succeed. By setting simple achievable goals at the start of a project and allowing the team members to decide for themeselves how they will achieve them, we create a "winner team" atmosphere which will soon become unstopable.
It never fails to amaze me how soon the internal bickering and finger pointing stops.
As discussed in the article, below, assuming their manager does not actively block their success; and assuming this manager is patient enough to start slowly and nurture the inter-personal relationships within their team, progress in every team can become perpetual.
IN SUMMARY: if you feel your team is not performing, look first in the mirror and ask how you lead. If you are cutting corners in any way, then stop today. If you have avoided any difficult conversations with team members, then seek to clear that air as soon as possible. If one member is holding the rest back, address that issue.
Finaly, even if you fear the situation will get worse, remember investing time in your team is a sure-bet and will pay back sooner than you think.