How Can I Be A Great Team Leader-ratatouille

All organisations need great team leaders; no leadership, no great organisation. Over the next three articles I will be answering the question, "How can I be a great team leader, and how can I produce leadership in others?" I will explore key aspects of Leadership as well as giving you tips for getting started and exercises you can do to build your, and others’, skill in every area of Leadership. My definition of Leadership is: ‘holding the Vision, enabling Partnership, and empowering others to be Accountable.’ The foundation of all Leadership is Accountability, and I’ll be exploring this in this article. Accountability is ‘the willingness to make .mitments and hold oneself to account for them, regardless of the circumstances’. There are two aspects to the definition: your willingness to make binding .mitments for yourself, and your relationship with the circumstances that surround you. Are You Willing to be Accountable? The first step in taking accountability is to choose to be accountable for an out.e, irrespective of whether you know how to achieve it, or believe you can do it. Gandhi did not know how to achieve independence for India when he assumed leadership for the movement, and there were many times when he doubted his own ability. But he chose to be accountable for the out.e, spoke out, and continued to stand for his vision in the face of all the circumstances. And it is a choice. There are many things we would like to achieve, or to have happen in the world. But we do not choose to be accountable for them – accountability starts with the choice. But What About the Circumstances? The second aspect of being accountable is your relationship with the circumstances. Many people resist taking accountability for an out.e because they believe circumstances make it impossible to achieve. Take the issue of lateness. A client, embarrassed by his lateness for an important event, once said, "but it’s impossible to arrive anywhere on time in the South of England these days, because of the traffic on the M25". He seriously believed this was true – it was impossible to be on time! It took much discussion and exploration before he recognised that the block lay in himself – there were others in his team, living and working in the same area, who were never late for meetings. Indeed, he discovered that with certain things at stake, he too could transcend the ‘impossible’ traffic and arrive on time – he had never missed a flight from Gatwick or Heathrow in 15 years! So are You Being Accountable? The interaction of the two factors: the willingness to take accountability, and the relationship with the surrounding circumstances, gives us a way of challenging ourselves, and measuring our behaviour on a scale of levels from 1 to 4: Level 4 Holds self to account Regardless of the circumstances No excuses! Level 3 Willing to be held to account by others Regardless of the circumstances No excuses! Level 2 Willing to be held to account by others Subject to the circumstances "It was the traffic" "I couldn’t, because.." "They didn’t .e back to me in time" Level 1 Resists/avoids being held to account Because of the circumstances "It’s not my job" "She made me do it" "It isn’t my fault" At Level 1, people resist and avoid accountability or hide behind the circumstances. All of us do this in some area of our life or work, but somebody who is being fully accountable will be honest about whether they have made a conscious choice to do so! At Level 2 you will hear a lot of excuses – people at this level are difficult, if not impossible, to manage. A fully accountable person will never believe the reason for failing to deliver on a .mitment is an excuse for doing so. People at Level 4 can be difficult to have as team members if they extend this level of accountability to ‘forgetting’ to inform others of their actions and results. Provided they are willing to keep others informed, they can also be solid team colleagues. At Level 3 people willingly make promises and are happy to be called to account if they don’t deliver. They are a joy to manage and to have as team colleagues. How Can You Use This? This raises the interesting issue of how to use this in leading others: be very careful! Work on yourself first, and be scrupulously honest about where you are and are not behaving at an appropriate level of accountability. Your management and coaching of others will only be effective if based on your own experience. Try the exercise below to explore in more depth your own willingness to .mit yourself, and your relationship with various categories of circumstances. Try it for Yourself – Down the left hand side of a sheet of paper, list all the things in your work or your life that you are, or feel you should be, accountable for. Your Job Description would be a good place to start. For example: work projects, your team’s performance, your own development, your family, fitness, diet etc. – Against each item, note the level of Accountability you have been operating at with regard to that item. – For each item where you have been operating at level 1 or 2, note the usual reasons and excuses you make for failing to fulfil on your .mitments. How ‘true’ are these? Look around you and find someone who isn’t stopped by that set of circumstances. Talk to them and find out how they view it (their mindset about it), and how they deal with the circumstances. – Decide which items you wish to to, and put the first few steps in the diary towards achieving these. – Decide which items you choose not to .mit to, and make it clear to whomever is involved that you relinquish accountability for these. Deal responsibly with their reactions! Case Study A team of .pany directors were working through their current accountabilities, exploring and applying the concept of accountability. One of them was accountable for Project X, to obtain a big order critical to the .pany’s survival. The issue came up of whether being fully accountable meant you always succeeded in delivering your .mitments. On discovering that it did not, the above member of the team breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, good", he said, "because I know already that Project X is going to fail." The rest of the team went pale! He had said nothing about it, because in his view he was being fully accountable if, on failing, he was willing to hold up his hands and apologise for his failure. He had known for two or three months that the project was off track, and the deadline date was still two months ahead. We explored with him where in his life he was operating at a higher level of accountability, and discovered that his personal finances were impeccably managed. There was nothing he had not anticipated, and he and his family were taken care of whatever happened. "How would it be," we said, "if you brought that level of accountability to Project X?" Immediately, he saw he needed: – to have spoken up sooner – to have kept his manager fully informed – to anticipate the consequences for cash flow and production schedules – to ask now for ideas and help from the rest of the team – to put contingency plans in place He had been totally blind to his failure of accountability in this crucial area of his work, but, very typically in our experience, had all the skills he needed, and was applying them very effectively elsewhere. 相关的主题文章: