“I learned that the highest individual achievements are never solo events, that you only reach your best with the help of other people, and their belief in you. It's a lesson I will never forget, no matter what I do with the rest of my life.”
Nick Sagar, as told to Jim Collins in the book “Upward Bound”
As a leader, you know the critical nature of your team. Without them, your vision might as well be Mount Everest. Sometimes it still seems like climbing Mount Everest, but even doing that requires a team of sherpas. Regardless of your leadership position, solopreneur or leader of a large organization, you need others to reach your goals. Nick Sagar, the mountain climber who’s quote we see above, says you only reach your best with the help of other people, and their belief in you. Building a team with a mutual belief in the vision and each other provides the framework you need to reach your goals and achieve your vision.
Your team can be contractors such as a virtual assistant, a webmaster, a social media manager and a bookkeeper or you may have a team of people on your payroll. Either way, you need a team around you to fully implement your vision. Why? Because none of us have all the unique abilities and skills that are needed to fully accomplish our vision. And that’s a good thing.
Your Role as the Leader
When we bring this team together, we need to recognize our role as the leader in the organization. We bring things to the table as the leader, and we have a vision of what we want to accomplish. As the leader, your responsibility is to set that vision and always be focused on it, keeping everyone aligned with your company’s why, the reason for the vision. Along with keeping your team aligned, you help your team understand how their strengths and skills contribute to achieving the vision. When they can see the connection between their contribution and achieving the vision, they’re motivated to contribute at their highest level. This is the meaning of releasing the energy of your team.
As Bob Buford says,
“You don’t supply energy for other people, you release it”
It is impossible for you to supply all the energy needed to accomplish your vision. Believing you need to supply the energy for everyone on your team is a recipe for burnout. You cannot physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually provide the energy for another person. It’s not possible. Here are the responsibilities of the leader:
The leader provides:
- The environment – a place and a process to accomplish the vision.
- The vision – a compelling picture of where we’re going and why we want to get there.
- The clarity – understanding of the outcomes, the reasons, the methods used to reach the vision.
- The strategy – cohesive direction and feedback that brings the team together.
Rather than supplying the energy for your team, the role of the leader is to release the energy of each team member. This energy is then multiplied as the group works together. You could say that the energy of your team is greater than the sum of its parts.
Knowing Your People
What's really critical about understanding this piece of information is truly caring who the people are on your team, what their unique contributions are, and how to make sure that everybody on your team is plugged in and using their strengths and skills effectively to achieve the outcomes you're looking for. Empowering your team to work in the areas that energize them, that use their strengths and their skills to the fullest provides the greatest reward for the company, the team, and the individual.
How much greater reward, you may ask? According to The Gallup Organization, the increase is considerable. Organizations with engaged team members have:
- 41% lower absenteeism
- 17% higher productivity
- 21% higher profitability
Each of these measures increases your bottom line. And don’t we all want that? Imagine your team members all working in their area of expertise, contributing at their highest level to your company’s vision. Where could you go if everyone was energized for the goals you’re working to achieve?
Do you want to energize your team? A strategy session with Rhonda can help you do just that. You’ll spend 50 minutes focused on steps to implement your vision with your team. In the process, you’ll work through the messy middle, gaining clarity on how to move forward effectively. Schedule your strategy session here.
©Rhonda Peterson 2020, All Rights Reserved