Another common and costly leader mistake that can result in a loss of credibility and trust.
MISTAKE: Solving problems others should solve.
It’s not uncommon for new leaders to solve problems for their team members instead of helping them learn to do it on their own. For the overly controlling leader, you may find it faster to take care of it yourself than to take the time to teach.
For the less assertive leader, it might be easier to do it yourself so you can get around confronting an issue directly.
What is your team supposed to do that no other team does?
These are important questions for all teams - whether you belong to a management team, a functional team, a project team, or other.
The challenge in most organizations is that teams don't have clarity about their purpose. They brush it off as something too fluffy to consider. Or, for other teams, their purpose ends up on a pretty poster in a conference room and does nothing but take up wall space.
One of the critical communication breakdowns I see teams make is not providing others with feedback.
For some reason, this is one of the hardest things for people to do in the work place. I am not entirely sure why, except to say that people either don't know how to provide feedback to others, it can be very uncomfortable, or both.
Team members want feedback - both positive and constructive. But it has to be delivered in a timely manner and in a way that is specific enough so that people understand the behaviors that need to be changed.
I was in the Apple Store today. I had a scheduled meeting with a Genius (an Apple tech support guru) at 2:00. You’d never know we were in a recession by the number of people in the store at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday. Anyway, the Genius who was helping me with my iPhone had a shirt on that said “Not all heroes wear capes.”
In my recent blog post, Courage and Humility: A Balancing Act of Leadership Characteristics, I mentioned that leadership often requires a unique balance of sometimes opposing characteristics. In Part 1, I spoke wrote about Courage and Humility.
The second set of characteristics that I believe is required of a successful leader is the balance of strength with vulnerability.
When army officers issue an operations order, they include a statement in the order called "Commanders Intent." The purpose of this statement is to provide people with guidance so that decisions can be made and action can be taken in the face of ambiguity.
The same can be applied in the work place. If you are a leader, make sure your people understand the overall purpose of the task at hand. If you are a team member, take responsibility for understanding how your task fits into the bigger picture.
Add clarity in the face of ambiguity. Understand your "manager's intent."