Pat MacMillan in his book “The Performance Factor” lays out four skills needed to lead any team. If you don’t get these right, nothing else really matters.
1. Picking Good People
You work with people the way they are, not the way you wish they were. So you can bet, if they don’t fit now they won’t fit later. Building a team takes time, so build in a lot of time into getting the best person fit you can. Before you start the hiring process, know what you are looking for. Look at past performance—it is the best predictor of future performance.
2. Setting Clear Expectations
It has been said that less than one-half of all workers claim to know what is expected of them. ASK: “What do you think you get paid to do?” And ask it often.
3. Recognizing Excellence and Praising It
Aubrey Daniels in “Bringing Out the Best in People” says every behavior has a consequence. Some are good and some are bad. We need to manage consequences. The following maxim has been attributed to many famous people, “What gets rewarded is what gets done.” Regardless of it’s origin, most of us know it as the Greatest Management Principle in the World and the number one reason why consequences must be managed.
4. Showing Care for Your People
Research shows that employees who feel cared about are less likely to have accidents, steal, miss work, quit, etc. Don’t fake caring. If you don’t care, go someplace where you can.
“The most effective way to invest your time is to identify exactly how each [team member] is different and then, as in chess, figure out how you can best incorporate these differences into your overall plan of action.” (Marcus Buckingham)