Tip #12: The Value of Open Communication

“Really great people make you feel that you too, can become great.” - Mark Twain

There is abundant evidence to show the important connection between open, free communication in organizations and organizational success. When people are free to voice their opinions, contribute their ideas, and solve problems, they feel valued and fulfilled. They become committed to the organization, its goals, and its customers. Organizations with closed/low communications don't ever reach their potential.

Tip #11: Do the Hard Jobs First

Dale Carnegie once said, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”

When it comes to leadership, one of the hardest jobs for managers to do is interact effectively on a day-to-day basis. I’m not talking about saying a quick “hello” and “good morning” as you pass each other on the way to the coffee pot. That’s all well and good, but what I’m talking about is the kind of interaction that maintains and enhances self-esteem.

Tip #10: From Peer to Manager

"I used to be a member of this team. Now I'm the manager. Do I really have to discipline the non-performers?"

Tip #9: Put Me in Coach

Managers are responsible for a lot these days – hiring staff, meeting budget targets, and achieving departmental goals. This is a strain some days, and it is easy to feel unproductive yourself. It is equally important for employees to feel that they are meeting their goals and performing acceptably. It would be easy to ignore the individual task of coaching, but we simply can’t do that.

This quote by H. Gordon Selfridge couldn't better summarize what leaders and coaches do best:

Tip #8: Delegate and Deliver

How do you delegate AND get the results that you want?

Tip #7: Transforming Performance Goals Into Reality

How do you transform performance goals into reality?

Tip #6: Helping New Team Members

While hiring top talent is important, it’s also important for existing team members to create an environment in which newcomers are welcome and want to stick around.

It may not be your responsibility to hire new people. Perhaps that is your manager’s job. It is, however, your responsibility to help new people transition onto the team. Here are a few tips to make any new transition easier:

Tip #5: Stay Together

If you ask one of the professional guides at the Colorado Mountain School about the four rules that experienced teams always abide by in the backcountry, they will tell you: (1) stay together, (2) stay together, (3) stay together, and (4) never split up.

In the army, leaders live by the principle of “take care of your people and they will take care of you” and soldiers “watch their buddies.”

Tip #4: Encourage a Diversity of Ideas

“No one is thinking if everyone is thinking alike.” - General George S. Patton

Think about the importance of this statement. Innovative teams not only embrace differences of opinions and new ideas – they encourage it. Through a diversity of ideas teams learn to innovate, challenge the status quo, and enhance their processes and projects.

Here are a few tips to help your team think differently:

Tip #3: Re-evaluate Yearly Goals

With less than three months remaining in the year, it’s time to dust off your 2005 goals and assess your progress. Here are some questions to ask as you review your goals.