Publication:

Manawatu Guardian - 2021-11-25

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Leaders — team is a reflection of you

NEWS

Mike Clark Mike Clark is director and lead trainer and facilitator at Think Right business training company.

Do you have a clear sense of purpose in your business? Does your team know why your business exists (the big why — your greater purpose for being)? Do you and your team know what the business goals are for the next one to three years? Still possibly one of the greatest movie speeches of all time is in the film Braveheart where William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) encourages the Scots to stay unified by focusing on a common vision — freedom. You may not be running down a hill, waving a sword and prepared to fight to the death for a cause but you will spend a huge amount of your life at work. Do you approach work as the place you drag yourself to where you die a slow death or is it merely a means to an end? Or do you have a glorious purpose? In the excellent research project done by Google, called Re:Work, they identified high-performing teams have five common qualities: 1. psychological safety 2. dependability 3. structure and clarity 4. meaning 5. impact Each of these is a goldmine worth exploring and digging into. I often remind leaders “your team is a reflection of you”. People rarely leave bad companies, they usually leave bad bosses. In a recent Gallup survey of more than one million employees 75 per cent of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself. A 2019 Robert Half survey found about half of professionals left their jobs citing a bad boss as the reason. If your team was surveyed how would they rate you and your management team? People complexities are not easily fixed. They need to be worked on. This takes time, effort and energy. If you feel the need to secure a quick win, consider seeing how your business meets points 3, 4 and 5 in the list. Does your team have clarity in their roles, where they sit in the organisation, how processes and systems contribute to the overall outcome? Does your team know their part on the team is important and their contribution matters? Does your team believe your business exists to make an impact beyond the bottom line? People need to know they matter and what they do makes a positive difference. When people join your team knowing the bigger purpose gives a common purpose and focus. This allows people to direct their efforts and energies towards this aspirational cause. When teams have a common cause it is easier to create safe environments as people are less inclined to attack people internally and are more easily focused on tackling the problem in front of them. How clear is your purpose? Do you have a clear compelling picture of the future that is so strong it pulls you forward — a vision people can rally around? If you have not tapped into the power of these motivators I encourage you to make time to wrestle this to the ground and articulate it to your team.

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