[June 24, 2021] Building a leadership team simply involves setting a good example. There are some things you have to spell out, but for the most part, if you want to build a good team, and/or you want to create leaders, you need to lead by example. Being a good leader will not make you the president of the United States, but it will set you on the right path for success.
Demonstrate and Elaborate Instructions Fully
You do not have to put your instructions up on a large digital sign for everybody to see, but you do need to be clear and willing to demonstrate what you mean. However, it is very important that you judge your group by their competency level. Repeating and/or elaborating on instructions for highly skilled and competent team members will only serve to annoy them. On the other hand, giving detailed and long instructions to people who need more supervision and/or who are inexperienced will often lead to confusion and taxing managerial scenarios.
Planning is Key to Success
Some people are able to “Wing it” with diligent fervor and somehow make it out, but that type of schizophrenic leadership is very grating and rests completely on how likable you are. Instead, set out a plan, set out contingencies, and manage your group. People can rely on those who have a plan.
Understand Positive Feedback
When people go above and beyond, then you are free to praise them. If they do their job and they do it well, then hold off on the praise. The truth is that most people these days are taught to think that their daily effort will result in big rewards. It is a fantasy taught by schools by which people think they are special and that they are all going to become super successful generals, leaders, or millionaires. Praising people for going the extra mile is okay but praising them for doing their job is not so good.
To further push the previous point, if somebody is doing their job 100% perfect, then there is no need to praise them. However, in order to maintain a good level of consistency, if somebody is doing his or her job 98% perfectly, then that person should be constructively criticized until he or she gets to 100%. Demanding perfection is only okay if you actually demand it. People who are doing their job 100% shouldn’t need praise if the rest of your team is also doing a 100% good job.
How you criticize is going to depend upon the situation. However, it is your job to find out what is wrong and why. There are times when some people are simply lazy, or they think they can get away with doing things half-assed. However, there are many times when further training is needed, or obstacles to success need to be removed.
Consistency is probably one of the most important things in human-to-human interaction. Parents who are consistent will often raise the best kids, army leaders who are consistent will train the best recruits, and teachers who are consistent will create the best teams and the best leaders.
It is less about structure and is more about behavior. Being consistent in this manner is not about having a team-drill at 9am on Tuesday every Tuesday without fail. Being consistent is about dressing down a senior recruit for talking back in that same way you dress down a fresh new recruit who just arrived today.