Last weekend I returned home from a month in Ecuador. The focus of my trip was a climbing expedition to some of the most remote and beautiful volcanoes in the world towering between 16,000 - 20,000 feet above sea level. My time in Ecuador was marked with excitement, adventure, and challenge as our climbing team dealt with deteriorating weather and dangerous avalanche conditions. Through all of that, I enjoyed the serenity of being removed from everyday life and focused on climbing.
I had already gone down the path of following some of my dreams. I'd moved to Colorado in 2001 where my passion for climbing could thrive. I'd bought a house, and I started a business. But something was holding me back. I had an addiction to nicotine that was controlling my life. It started 11 years prior while in Ranger School during my time in the U.S. Army. Ranger School is one of the Army's most difficult combat leadership schools.
I work with clients every week to help improve engagement, collaboration, retention, and productivity. And I know that when the term "performance management" comes up everyone either starts laughing or running.
How can you help retain winning talent?
• Help your leaders understand that retaining people is not an "HR" problem, but a leadership problem. In most cases, people leave their managers, not their organizations.
During tough economic times, we are often asked to do more with less. How can you help your team be more productive?
• Stay clear of turf wars and politics. Focus on team goals and not just your individual job responsibilities. Think beyond your job description. Break down the barriers and silos between teams and sub-teams.
• Clarify roles and responsibilities with your manager, and make sure that everything you are working on is aligned with departmental goals and strategic objectives of the organization.
Delegating is a skill that all leaders need to maximize their effectiveness. Delegating benefits the team leader, the team member, and the organization. Successful delegation raises the team leader's output as soon as he/she begins to achieve results through the multiplied efforts of others. When others perform tasks that the team leader has assigned, the team leader gains time for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling.
As a leader, if you want to keep a team member, there must be advancement and development available. Although career advancement is largely a corporate influence issue, your actions as a leader can still have a significant impact. This includes career counseling, helping the team member network within the organization to increase his/her visibility, and assisting in the preparation for and pursuit of alternative positions within the organization.
“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.
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.
"I used to be a member of this team. Now I'm the manager. Do I really have to discipline the non-performers?"