In her article at Small Business Trends, Diane Helbig shares examples of leadership being demonstrated (or NOT) on America’s Got Talent and Celebrity Apprentice. I had also noticed that Howard Stern has significantly changed the judging dynamic on America’s Got Talent. He acts like the classical manager, as if his decision is final. He doesn’t seem to recognize there are three judges. He often makes comments like, “You cannot go to the next step. I’m sorry.”
Image by B.Norton via Flickr
If this were a business organization, and he was one of the managers, how would his actions affect the trust level on the leadership team?
Diane mentions another example, which I did not see, in which Arsenio Hall and Clay Aiken didn’t trust their team members to get the job done. Sounds like they micro-managed everything. Have you ever been micro-managed? How did you feel? What did it do to your creativity?
These two stark examples of a lack of leadership actually help us see what TO DO to be an effective leader:
1. Communicate the Goal and How Important the Teammates Are to Achieving it
This is something that should be done early and often. When people understand what you want to achieve, why it matters, and how they are a part of that process, they are more likely to work with you. Remember here that it’s about the goal – not about you or your needs.
When we keep our focus on the goal, we remove our egos and emotions. We are able to keep things objective and professional.
2. Empower Your Team in Decision Making and Taking Action
When you hire people or add them to your team, you are doing it because you believe they bring skills and abilities to the table. Let them use them.
Don’t micromanage; don’t order them around; don’t keep them on a short leash. You need them thinking and acting enthusiastically. That’s how you’ll get the most out of them. When people are contributing with the best of their ability, your team is stronger and your odds of success go up dramatically.
3. Seek Input and Ideas From Your Teammates
You know the saying, “Two heads are better than one?” It applies to this situation. You don’t have to have all the answers. I submit to you that you shouldn’t have all the answers. When you get your teammates involved in the ideas you get greater buy-in from them. Let them help you problem solve. They’ll be more committed to the outcome and you’ll be working smart.
These are important factors in building trust and bringing out the best in your team. The key is to let go the need to control everything. You’ll not likely “completely” let go that need, but pull it back to 80% letting go, and only 20% controlling and watch what happens.