3 Reasons Leaders limit their team’s potential.
It is hard to imagine a leader who intentionally restricted their team’s performance and growth potential. Unfortunately, many do exactly that, unaware that they have become the limit to team success.
Here are 3 Leadership deficiencies at the heart of the problem.
1. Flying Blind
Poor Self Awareness.
Almost everything a leader says and does in the context of their team will have an impact. The way in which they conduct themselves, how they communicate, the decisions they make, even their body language will be seen and felt by the team. Either directly or indirectly this will impact how they feel about their work and how they feel impacts how they will perform
To lead a team without being conscious of your personal impact is almost like not leading at all. It is flying blind.
How to fix this? A good start is gaining feedback from your Team.
Take 15 minutes with each member of your team and ask 3 simple questions:
1. What would they like more of from you as leader?
2. What would they like less of from you as leader?
3. How do they like to be managed?
2. Lost in the Twilight Zone
Lack of clarity on direction.
Many teams operate in a kind of twilight zone. They work, work, work, work on the business of the day without really understanding how their work connects to the organisation’s overall purpose or strategy.
The result is that people are often working extremely hard on things that don’t have direct impact on the overall performance of the team or strategy. The leader has not been clear, and team performance is limited.
Ask your team to answer three questions:
What is our purpose? (Why are we doing this?)
What are our top 3 strategic initiatives for success?
What is your individual role in that strategy?
3. Missing in Action
Failure to address unclear behaviour expectations.
Perhaps the toughest thing about leading a team is bringing together a group of individuals who all have their own personality traits, some of which can be wildly different and sometimes very difficult to manage.
If a leader has not set clear standards of team behaviour (culture), the result can be unpredictable & chaotic. Typically teams crave clarity on behavioural expectations…and the courage for leaders to hold the team accountable.
If a leader goes missing in action when establishing accountability to behaviours, confidence in them decays.
Simple Leader Exercise
Take some time to reflect on the type of team you want to lead...then.
Write in bullet points the 5 most important behaviours you want to see from your team. The one’s you feel most strongly about.
To make these even clearer - next to each bullet point in brackets… describe the opposite of that behaviour.
At your next team meeting share what you have written with the team and ask them to score the 'team' 0 to 10 on each of the 5 behaviours.
Finish by helping the team identify one or two behaviours to improve...and how.
We all suffer from these to varying degrees. The challenge is to make sure we are not the limit to our team’s performance or potential.