“Do you ever feel like an impostor?
I let my people down. I’m supposed to raise their spirits, but they are hitting a wall, their energy is low, and morale is dropping like a ton of bricks. What should I do Dr. G?”
Questions of a client struggling with their identity as a leader. My response - simple, and without hesitation…
“You got this far. Why stop now?”
This person came to me because he hit a mental roadblock and needed someone to help him Think Differently about his situation, so that he could get out of that mental space. My conversations with him inspired what you are reading today. This piece is designed to help those of you who carry the responsibility of being a leader and driving others to achieve top-tier performance.
Let’s be clear – leadership is more than a title. It is a way of life that requires one to create an environment where people can be the best versions of themselves. As a leader, you become the conduit of excellence, the filter by which people express performance. The process starts with your awareness that humans have a need to belong, to express, to achieve, and above all to be rewarded for their actions. The way these needs manifest to the world differs from person-to-person, but over the course of time, I have found a few commonalities. I list them below as tips to help you amplify your team’s performance.
Tip #1 – Support, Encourage, Empower, Motivate
Creating and nurturing performance is facilitated by supporting, encouraging, empowering, and motivating others. An easy way to remember this tip is to use the acronym – “SEEM” – to use it, I recommend for you to first reflect on how you (can) contribute to the team. These are sure ways to positively impact performance. With practice, time, and commitment you will be among the great leaders who create an environment that supports employees to go above and beyond their duties, encourages them to try new things/ideas ( and in the process make mistakes) without fear, empowering them to find ways for them to become role models for themselves and other, finally, motivating them during times of success and difficulty.
Tip #2 – Prevent and Predict Burnout
Creating elite level performance can also create an environment where burnout exists. You will have times when people get “in the zone” and forget to take time for breaks, other times, the atmosphere will be super competitive, and the work becomes too demanding. Your responsibility in these situations is to help staff minimize the effect of burnout. Some mitigation techniques include: how you show-up in the workplace (i.e., your leadership style); the amount of stress you put on the team (i.e., their tasks, duties, ambiguity, complexity of their jobs); and the working conditions you have created (i.e., do they work in a dark, bland office space, are they isolated or congregated, is there flexibility in schedules/environments, compete against each other). Use this simple list to get an inventory of the current impact these items are having on your people. Based on your findings you can create ways to stimulate success and ultimately elevate their performance for extended periods of time.
Tip #3 – Promote Trust, Autonomy, Relatedness
Remember, people have a need to belong, self-express, achieve, and be rewarded. As a leader it is important for you to facilitate the attainment of these needs. A simple way to do that is for you to behave in ways that foster respect, stimulate intellectual capacity of each team member, and challenge individuals to be part of their own growth. If you want massive meaningful results – try focusing on encouraging and promoting trust among your teams. Trust creates a space for open communication, which leads to better clarity, this leads to purpose and execution. When people feel “trusted” and are given autonomy to be their own boss, their level of performance can skyrocket. Last, but not least, if you want your team to be a team, then you need to treat them as one. This shows up by encouraging them to have each other’s back. Yes! Encourage them to have/make friends in the workplace. It is key to job enjoyment, and motivation, which is linked to increased engagement and overall performance. Apply these tips and in no-time you will have highly performing teams.
For those of you overseeing others you have a responsibility to help them achieve greatness. Greatness is found from within and it can only manifest itself to the world when you harness its power and purposefully channel it to the world.
People have a need to belong, self-express, achieve, and be rewarded.
Facilitate performance through “SEEM.”
To extend performance, you must predict and mitigate burnout.
Create an environment of trust, autonomy, and workplace friendships.
Try these out and send me a private message on what you found.
Until next time.