☛ Focus on results and productivity and not the time clock
☛ Align people with the stuff they are good at
☛ Align people with the projects they are passionate about
☛ Put your best performers on your biggest opportunities
☛ Find the balance between aggressive and realistic goals
☛ Trust your people -- and let them know it
☛ Avoid blame
☛ Foster innovation by killing projects the right way
☛ Don't provide all the answers -- make your employees think
☛ Build consensus by letting people know "why"
Your boss is probably the most important person you need to communicate with. Take time to understand fully what your boss wants from you and your team if you know exactly what she likes, and how he/she prefers this to be delivered, you will be better able to meet with his/her approval.
Do not be afraid to ask your boss to coach or mentor you. You can usually learn a lot from him, but he may not be proactive about offering this. If you are approaching your boss for advice, make sure you have thought things through as far as you can. Introduce the subject with a summary of your thinking, and then say where you need help.
I like people I lead to know that there is plenty of opportunity for input. I do not have all of the answers. I want others to be exploring and suggesting new things and I often seek out review and input from team members I respect.
But there are also moments when a decision must be made and people need to have clear direction. You can not be afraid of making the unpopular decision so much that you do not make a decision at all.
Demonstrate to the team that you are invested in the success of the organization, the stated objectives of the team and the success of each individual in that order and before any self-serving objectives. You do this with sustained action over time, not with words.
A coach pushes people. If you are not asking people to do something they have not done before, you are not setting the bar high enough.
A coach also supports. When someone is not finding their way or is not succeeding, you help them. In either case, ample use of the word "we" is often helpful.
It is not enough as a leader to articulate your group's objectives once and assume everyone is on board. Refer to the established goals throughout your project and use them to frame accomplishments and interactions.
This is often said, but that does not make it any less critical. Of course every leader wants to stack their team with "A" players. You either have some of these or you need to find some. But you also can not expect to only work with "A" players otherwise, your leadership would not be needed.
Here are a few keys for leading a team:
☛ Establish the team objectives
☛ Get the right people on and off
☛ Demonstrate your commitment
☛ Be a coach
☛ Make decisions
When you move from being a worker to a line manager, you need to develop a new set of skills, and make use of new tools and techniques. These will help you with the key management activities of organizing, motivating, developing and communicating with your team.
There are a number of common mistakes that new managers tend to make. Take care to avoid them. These are:
☛ Thinking that you can rely on your existing job knowledge and technical skills to succeed as a manager. It is essential that you take the time to develop good management and people skills as well - these can be more important than your technical skills.
☛ Failing to consult regularly with your boss, in a misguided attempt to show that you can cope on your own.
☛ Approaching your boss without having thought a problem through, and without having considered how the problem could be solved.
☛ Embarrassing your boss, or letting her get a nasty surprise. Follow the "no surprises" rule.
☛ Doing anything that requires your boss to defend you to others. This can cause your boss to "lose face" with his peers and superiors, and it makes it look as if his team is out of control.
☛ Failing to talk to your customers (whether internal or external) about what they want from yourself and your team.
☛ Using your authority inappropriately - make sure that everything you ask people to do is in the interests of the organization.