5 Ways to Wreck Your Team

5 MISSTEPS That Wreck Your Team

[stepbystep-item] If you've struggled to lead a business team, the chances are you've missed some obvious signs along the way.  Here are 5 often-overlooked ways that business leaders go off the rails with their teams. [bctt tweet="Are you struggling to lead your team? Find out which steps work against you & wreck your team."] [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=1 title="Caring More About Your Needs Than Your Team's"] step1 It's an easy trap to fall into.  Chances are you've been working in your business longer than your team, and you've sacrificed more with less reward.  So what. People coming to your team are tired of working for someone else's luxury off of their sweat.  Quality people joining small businesses because they a) want to make a difference and b) they want greater Opportunity for recognition for hard and great work. That's the bad news.  The good news is, they also want you to be successful, after all, their success is predicated upon yours. It's okay to remind your team once in a while what you've built and the tracks you've laid for them.  But always remember, you need to inspire them and reward them based on what THEY are doing or sacrificing, based on THEIR needs.  If you can't find that common ground with a member of your team on a regular basis, you need to replace them. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=2 title="Doing Their Job"] doing-their-job Micro-managing is tempting when you've dealt hands-on with your clients and are now passing the torch.  After all, nobody knows your clients as well as you do. You've built a business by making mistakes and dialing in what works.  So it's frustrating to see others repeat those mistakes and worse, to ignore the lessons from your mistakes. But for your team to truly grow beyond you, you have to grow with people who are NOT you.  Work to teach them your business, your model, and your lessons. Then, let them go.  You don't have to give them a long leash.  That should be earned with time. If you find that you are constantly having to micro-manage a person on your team, then you need to re-evaluate your leadership style and your resources (the less you have, the more pressure you feel to control, minimize mistakes). If you still have that problem, then you need to replace that person because they aren't helping you. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=3 title="Grabbing the Spotlight"] team-celebration When your team hits goals, achieves something spectacular and grow the business.  You win!  You've taken risks, assembled a team that you took chances on and it's paid off.  They've delivered.  You look great. So pass the spotlight, you don't need it.  If you've done all of this, everybody knows it and admires you already.  Sure it's great if they recognize you and your contributions but if you don't recognize their's, it will be short-lived. And the great thing is, if you can withhold the glory and the lights and instead pass it to your team, they will pass it back.  Most team players don't like too much spotlight.  When they've had enough to fulfill and motivate them, they will let you know, usually by passing it right back to you. Great leaders can press their teams, push them, challenge them to be their best, to deliver and yet their teams will recognize the impact the leadership had upon them to get them all there. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=4 title="Nurturing 'Yes-Men and Women' with Fear"] nurturing-with-fear You aren't perfect.  You know that and you probably go above and beyond to avoid hearing it.  But don't go so far as to beat your team down so that they never stand up to you.  Even great leaders push too far sometimes.  Give them the security and freedom to stand up for themselves and their actions. It takes a tough team to rise up to the challenges of a young or growing business.  Not everyone you hire will be ready for it.  You have to challenge and inspire them to operate on a new level. The rewards they are seeking from leaving what they did before don't come from working the same way they did before.  You know that.  They know that. They need your toughness to get to that level.  But they also need your Support and the Security to make mistakes.  If you're a great leader, you don't make or repeat mistakes often. But they won't be great leaders or contributors if they can't stand up to you when you do.  That is if you don't recognize it first which you should. [/stepbystep-item] [stepbystep-item step=5 title="Not Taking Time Away"] When you work alone to start-up a business, you get accustomed to working a LOT.  After all, you have a lot of hats to wear and those roles aren't getting done on their own. Once you start hiring and building a team, it's hard to stop that cycle.  Now, the more limited and restricted your resources and funding are, the less time you have to build and nurture a team.  So you may have to push for a while. As resources or revenues allow, though, you need to take some time away.  It's hard to trust your new team and every entrepreneur or team-leader panics their first time away.  But do it.  Even if, like leaving an infant alone for the first time, you check-in every three to four hours, do it. And by all means, do NOT check-in more often.  Give your team a break. Give them a chance to show you what they can do.  They will make mistakes, let them. Your business and role is only going to become stronger, more efficient and more impacting if your team grows and learns to replace you. And fear not.  If you are a great leader, raising your team up, they will always need you.  Your goal is for them to need your experience and wisdom, not your labor. 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