What to Do With Those Leadership Notes

I have spent the last 2 days at a couple of leadership seminars, so right now my head is full. It’s important for me as a leader to always be learning but it’s not always easy to process all you are hearing. I have been reminded about some familiar leadership stuff and challenged with some new thoughts too.

Here’s how I try and process all my notes:

Take time out. Get some peace and quiet to read them through & clarify any points.

Identify. Two aspects to look for – what’s for me personally and what’s for me in my leadership role.

Action. Think about what response is needed. Is it just a thought to remember or is it something to action. If it’s actionable then take time out to think about how to action it.

Share. It’s always good to pass on what you are learning but in the appropriate way. Maybe get leaders together to discuss the ideas and the action to be taken. It’s important to involve others in the idea formation.

This sounds a formal way of doing things but it’s not really. It invariably doesn’t happen like this, in such deliberate steps but some form of process is essential.

How do you process new information?

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Leading a Team [5]

My final thought on team leading…

The leader must own it
Whatever it is you are leading then you must own it. Ownership is more than position, it is an attitude. See, the thing with ownership is, it displays itself – all the time. Are you really bothered how everything will turn out? What will you do to make sure the team succeed?

Ownership is not easy.
Ownership is 24/7.
Ownership usually costs.
Ownership is for everyone but not everyone wants the responsibility.
Ownership is action more than words.
Ownership is about adding value wherever you can.
Ownership is inconvenient.

As a leadership test, being able to lead a team is obviously very important. Understanding people, empowering them to fulfil their true potential, helping them learn and discover how working together can bring success – it’s not for everyone. And that’s okay!

From my experience, people normally fall into any of the following categories. They could be in all 3 but for different things they are involved in…

…be involved as long as its convenient to you. i.e. falls in with your plans & timing
…be involved but once the ask becomes too much and starts to inconvenience you then bail out
…be involved no matter what – enjoy the challenge of the journey

[Love to hear any of your thoughts about leading teams. What are your experiences?]

Leading a Team [4]

There are probably many more thoughts on how to lead teams – I imagine that if you google it literally millions of pages will be found. These are just what I’ve been learning…

Concentrate on the ‘Why’ not the ‘What’
People have joined the team so they know there is a job to do. They accept that. What can become annoying to some is the continuous reminder of the ‘whats’, picked up on when it’s not quite right and feeling nagged all the time. Now, I’m not saying you never correct, that is important but micro-managing is never fun. Not for the person doing it or the person receiving it.

Better to talk more about the ‘why’ aspect of the team. Why does the team exist? Why are we important to the success of the vision? Why do we do what we do?

At Xcel Church – we are building a strong, healthy, relevant Christian Church. We do that through being builders of a new Conference Centre, a great Aycliffe Venue and two thriving congregations at Darlington & Durham. Why do we do this? To reach people. It’s all Church. It’s all about being a great Christian influence in business and in community across the region.

If you keep the why in front of your team you have every chance of getting them to invest their time, energy, belief and finances, almost anything probably, to see the vision become a reality.

How do you feel as a team member when you are constantly reminded about what to do? How does the why factor influence you?

Leading a Team [2]

Continuing our discussion on leading teams, here some more observations…

Don’t let your feelings effect the team members feelings
It might be tough, things might not be as they should be, stuff might be going wrong – but as team leader here is a great lesson to learn – the rest of the team should not be affected by your annoyance of stuff going wrong or that you are just having ‘one of those days’.

Remember – you will get you chance to air your thoughts to those who lead you. One thing I learnt right at the beginning of all my leadership was this ‘Who needs to know?’ I reckon the person doesn’t need to know as often as they think they do.

The team leader is there to motivate not moan.

Keep your head while all around are losing theirs.
I know – it’s a very similar but I just like it as a thought. Your influence cannot be underestimated – if you remain calm amidst the chaos it will have an incredible effect. Make it a rule in your teams – no flapping allowed. Keep it light, keep it fun!

Team leaders set the tone – if you moan, the team moans. If you flap, the team will flap. If you are up for any challenge, the team will be up for it too. If you stay focused so will the rest of your team.

Any thoughts or experiences – I would love to hear about them

Leading a Team [1]

Team leading is an art. Taking the mix of skills, talents, personalities, temperaments and all the other stuff that makes up any individual, then leading them as a team can be a daunting experience at the best of times.

The challenges apart – leading a team can create a great buzz. It’s one of my favourite things because you get people working together to accomplish something that on your own, yes you could have done it, but it may well have killed you in the process.

I don’t consider myself an expert but over the past 10 years of leading a variety of teams I do think I have discovered a thing or two. Thought I would share them with you over the next few posts…

1. It’s not as easy as some people make it look
I really believe that some people are just gifted at leading teams. I’m not so full of myself to say that it cannot be learned but I do think that some just have an ability to see things that others don’t.

When you are leading the team you must be able to make the right decision quickly, which means that you have got to be confident in knowing what your leader really wants. Foe example, knowing by looking at the venue what your leader will say when they walk in, to see things how they see things.

You cannot always teach people that skill. It just takes time, it just happens. It’s not as easy as it looks. The bigger challenge is that team leaders not only have to develop that skill for themselves but also teach the team to think like that too.

2. The team leaders need leading too.
If you are the main leader of the organisation/Church then just putting someone in charge is not enough. That newly appointed team leader needs leading too. Very few people can just take on a role and get it right without any coaching, leading or guidance from you.

Empowerment is not abandonment. Having the knowledge as a team leader that decisions you make will be backed up, that you have support, that you know your boundaries – releases you to go for it and become the best you can become.

Would love your thoughts: what’s difficult about leading your team? How can your leaders help you become a better team leader?

Raising the Temperature

In staff training we were challenged to think about how we as leaders need to raise the temperature and why it is so important. 3 aspects to think about…

THERMOMETERS
They measure what the temperature is

THERMOSTATS
They set the temperature at a level you desire

BAROMETERS
They forecast the temperatue in the future

As leaders we are a part of each of these but more than anything need to be those who set the temperature and even more than that, predict what it should be! Think about where you are now and challenge yourself by asking the question – do I accept the temperature or am I a person who is setting the temperature, setting the pace?

What can you do in your life that will raise the temperature for you and for your team?