Steven W. Vannoy and Craig W. Ross

Article Summary:

How to use the “new leadership” style to create teams that are Self-Motivated, Self-Aligned and Self-Disciplined.

Building an Effective Team

Whether you’re the CEO of a multi-million dollar company or a small business owner with twelve employees, developing a healthy culture is as scientific as predicting your company’s future growth. Leaders who guide their organizations to long-term success understand that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between their organization’s culture and the business results they achieve. During this current trend of headcount reductions coupled with rising responsibilities, leadership is under a microscope. “Do more with less” is the battle cry. Stress? Longer hours? That’s a certainty – for those who choose to lead the “old way.”

Corporate leaders of Fortune 500 companies have experienced profound effects on productivity, job satisfaction, and bottom line results by utilizing the following leadership approach.

Welcome to the “new way” of leading.

1. Build the Individual
2. Build a Solutions-Focused Environment
3. Build Full Information Flow
4. Build Clear, Achievable and Stretch Objectives
5. Build a Healthy Team Identity

1. Build the Individual
Your initial way to build your employees may be to tell them what a great job they’re doing. Top leaders, however, understand that "telling" someone anything is as valuable as passing out junk bonds. The key is to communicate in a way the people receiving the information know it as truth. This is accomplished by acknowledging the person for accomplishments with specificity and sincerity. By building individuals, organizations tap into a more consistent and reliable source: Internal motivation. This affects the way they respond to situations and increases their effectiveness when interacting with others.

2. Build a Solutions Focused Environment
In organizations that experience long-term success, a greater focus is placed on what’s working vs. what’s not working, strengths vs. weaknesses, and what can be learned vs. who is to blame. This sort of forward-focus allows teams to engage in an issue (formerly known as a crisis), resolve it, learn from it, and thus use it as a pillar for future growth. These organizations know that advancing their company does not mean eliminating all challenges; rather, their success is fundamentally tied to how their organization responds to the issues of every day business life.

3. Build Full Information Flow
When we ask business leaders and marriage therapists what’s the number one problem with ineffective relationships, the answer is almost always “poor communication.” Because good business is built upon relationships, successful leaders make communication a priority. We have all experienced attempting to do a job without full information. It’s an ingredient for poorer quality, lower job satisfaction and dismal results. Successful leaders know that communication is two-way, which means as many ideas as possible are mined.

4. Build Clear, Achievable Objectives
Why do effective leaders ensure that objectives are clear and achievable? They know that the workplace is full of distractions and when objectives are clear employees can navigate by priorities. If the objective is not achievable, motivation will dissipate.

5. Build a Healthy Team Identity
When individuals work together toward achieving a common goal, it involves sharing struggles, challenges and successes. When an organization is made up of strong, healthy teams who have the ability to work together with a solution-focused approach, people are willing to go the extra mile for one another. They feel a sense of ownership and pride in their work and a sense of loyalty to one another, their leadership and the organization

Steven W. Vannoy and Craig W. Ross are recognized experts in the areas of effective communication and organizational development. They serve clients through Pathways to Leadership, Inc. and assist companies worldwide to develop effective leadership and healthy, high-performance work environments. They are currently writing Leadership Gold, available soon. For more information, visit www.Pathways

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