This post is the first in our series to introduce you to our 5 Steps to Building Your High Performance Team. Learn more about these steps in our new book, The Successful Manager’s Roadmap, now available for Kindle pre-order here.
The role of a manager is challenging. But, your chances of success increase dramatically if you take the necessary actions to build a high performing team. Just imagine what you could accomplish if you could build that team and get them aligned and using their total capability to accomplish your team’s goals.
The first step in that process is to fully embrace your role as the manager. Fundamentally, it’s all about you. You have to understand what you can do to effectively work with your team and lead them to success, and know that roadblocks can stand in your way.
The first roadblock is that you have to understand, what got you this far in your career may not make you a successful manager. You were probably a great individual employee. You worked hard to accomplish the goals you were given. You were in control. Now, you have to orchestrate the work of others in order to be successful. You are more of an orchestra conductor, not a star soloist. Many find the role of the conductor to be very frustrating.
This is related to the next roadblock; not understanding the differences between power, control and influence. We know that in the manager/employee relationship, the manager is in the power position. After all, as the manager you are in the position to hire and fire, assign work, provide feedback, determine pay increases, impact working conditions and so forth. Many managers, therefor, believe that they ‘control’ their employees and their work.
The truth is that only the employees control their own work. And your employees determine how much effort they put into their work. The quality of their work and the amount of effort, over the longer term, is largely determined by how they feel about their work situation. If they feel valued and safe in their work situation, they will be more productive.
This is where power comes into play. Through appropriate use of their ‘power’, managers heavily ‘influence’ how their employees feel about their work situation. Managers who create a positive and trusting relationship with their employees will reap the benefits. The opposite is true too. We know how employees feel about managers who yell at or belittle their employees. The floodgates open and employees leave en masse, with the best leaving first.
The last roadblock that you must overcome as a manager is focusing on managing just the task side of your role and not focusing on, or maybe even ignoring, the people side of your role. The most effective managers invest time in getting to know their employees and understanding what’s important to them. In addition, those managers know themselves well and adjust their approach to more effectively work with each of their employees and their team as a whole.
If you can overcome these obstacles, you will have a great foundation upon which to take the next step in building your high performing team.
You can learn more about the 5 steps to building a high performing team through our book, The Successful Manager’s Roadmap. The book is written as a fictional story of a manager who transforms a dysfunctional team into a high performing team in less than a year. The book is now available for pre-order on Kindle here. Want to read before you buy? Sign up for our email list here and we’ll send you the first chapter free today.