Before you read on, ask yourself, "Why was I hired?" Be as honest with yourself as you can. For most readers of this publication, there were clear reasons why you either gained employment or sought to own the corporation in which you now work. Issues such as leadership, management skills, expertise, experience were all packaged up into one, trustworthy package--YOU.
In a recent conversation with the CEO of a comparatively very successful company, the CEO repeatedly said that he was a team player, but was unhappy with the current game strategy. His intentions are good, but was he hired because the team needed another team player, or because the team needed a captain? Teams need leaders. People are hired because someone in the organization feels that this person will make a specific contribution to carrying forth the mission of the company, resulting in profits.
What happens to cause this shift from the original first day to the attitudes formulated while working? They forget their roles. Economics, especially theirs, are controlled by others—either by a board of directors or some form of management. What needs to happen is a shift in consciousness.
1. Act the part. Don't reinvent the role. Observe others' success methods and adapt them to your personality.
2. Put in writing exactly why you were hired, what you're expected to accomplish in terms of results, and review your writings frequently to stay on track.
3. Be courageous enough to be the lone wolf when needed. Give honest impressions and opinions as they pertain to meeting company objectives.
4. Ask others to do the same and show appreciation for their efforts.
5. Lead by example.
6. Express your vision and inform team members how they play valuable roles in reaching organizational goals.
7. Gather information and make a decision. Leaders know when it's time.
8. Make the most of meeting times. Have a clear purpose, keep the pace moving, and direct the meetings with the aim of accomplishing, not just discussing. If you're leading effectively, your team members will feel comfortable making contributions during the meetings, but they'll also know that wasting time on drivel is a no-no.
9. Create a vision first, strategy second, and a mission last.
It is difficult to find a successful leader, such as Andy Grove, Jack Welch, or Herb Keller, who has started with a mission statement. Each begins with a vision, dream (or whatever one may call it) that helps the leader to see the upcoming future, looking backwards from a distant point in time. An effective leader pushes forward by a strength that enables team members to place confidence in the leader's decisions and teaches others how to make their own decisions. The leader who steps in front of the team, makes the tough decisions, speaks his/her mind, and is steadfast in meeting the mission of the organization is the true team player by fulfilling the purpose for which he was hired.
© MM David & Lorrie Goldsmith
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