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Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
If you want your employees to take initiative they must have skin in the game. You can do that by letting them take ownership and pride in their work and their decisions. Rather than giving them very detailed instruction tell them what needs to be done and make them accountable for the results. This is the best way to get things done. If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?   You may have you given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives. The first thing you need to do is let go and empower your team. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two different approaches to giving an employee an assignment....

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
You are moving in a direction toward you goals and assume that your team is on the same path. You assume that they know what the objectives are.  In other words, are you taking a course of action, assuming the team is following but turn around and there is no one there. You know what happens when you assume! You ask your staff to follow then turn and find no one there.  The best way to insure organizational alignment is to be a focused leader who empowers and engages your team. When this happens, they will in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Focused Leader - You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are the leader. You appoint yourself CEO but your team will follow you only if you show you can lead.   As manager you can influence the process...
Tagged in: Team Leadership

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
You may have heard of The Peter Principle. Lawrence Peter’s book by this name argues that, in a hierarchy people tend to be promoted to the level of their incompetence. He noted that although this is not planned it is the unintended consequence. You get a promotion usually because you performed well in a previous job. Some very important reasons exist for doing this. Rewards encourage engagement and increased performance. However, companies make a flawed assumption that employees who do well in a previous job will continually do well in increasingly more difficult jobs. Inevitably, according to the Peter Principle, the person ends up being promoted to a job where they are no longer competent. This is referred to as their "level of incompetence". The employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching his or her career's ceiling in an organization. We can see examples of The Peter Principle in...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
A leader needs to navigate the team in the same way a captain navigates a ship. As a leader your role is to navigate your organization or your team through the uncertainties. The good and necessary management skills such as planning, directing and controlling are important but you will fail if you do not display inspirational leadership. The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all of the students fail the exam, then the fault lies with the teaching. Like students and teacher, you and your staff may not be on the same page. Management and Leadership are both important but there is a difference between the two. A good manager has proper control of systems and procedures and a good leader will inspire action and model behavior. We can help people follow our leadership by creating...

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
People achieve their goals because they want to achieve them.  The greater the reward the higher probability that the goal will be achieved.   We call this desire or passion motivation and it comes from within.  Motivation comes from within and that means that you cannot motivate another person.  You can, however, help create a spark to ignite their inner fire.  That inner fire will drive motivation. That inner fire or passion is your WHY.  If you do not have the WHY then the HOW will not matter.  Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership.  Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it.  Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion?  If you are not sure why not...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Developing a high performing team starts with communicating clear vision and values and seeing that each member shares the values and is one the same page.    Once aligned a leader inspires those on the team to be the very best they can be.  You start, of course, by getting the right people in the right jobs.  Help your team use their strengths to push their performance to new levels.  Unfortunately, many of us spend time trying to correct weaknesses.  This is best illustrated with a story a parent can understand: A child comes home from school with his or her report card and it shows, for example, an A in math, B’s in history and science, and a C in English.  What is the parent’s response?  In most cases the parent talks to the child about raising the grade in English.  But what if the child might have a real talent...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Many great individual performers are rightfully promoted to manager. But you need to understand that there is a difference between being a great performer and leading a team of great performers. In fact, a great leader does not have to be the best performer or know the individual jobs at all. That might be hard for a newly promoted manager to understand. After all if you are a newly appointed manager who had mastered the individual roles of your department you feel that knowledge makes you a better manager. Not so. The qualities that made you a star performer are not the same qualities that will make you an effective leader. Here are leadership philosophies from two well-known management consultants. “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker “The...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
What causes the difference between a high performing team and one that is dysfunctional and full of performance issues? There could be a number of causes but one cause for sure would be poor leadership. An organization is only as good as its people. Your first role as leader is to select the right people. After you have hired the right people your challenge as a leader is to keep them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, you must exceed customers’ expectations. This takes a coordinated effort of individuals that work together toward a common goal. You may have heard it said that there is no “I” in team. This is true and it means that individuals who are qualified and intelligent but do not work...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
George S. Patton said, “Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” As a business leader you need to be in control of your business BUT you don’t need to be a control freak. Taking that route leads to being overwhelmed. As a sole entrepreneur you, of course, need to control everything but once you decide to grow being a control freak will hold you back. Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail but you will lose sight of the big picture. Why is this problematic? If you hire a new employee but continue to try to do everything without delegating,...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Creating a successful team requires right actions by the leadership. Most people say that their organization is only as good as their people. How many really practice what they preach? It starts with hiring qualified people with shared values. Now leaders have the challenge of retaining those high performers by keeping them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, we must exceed our customers’ expectations. That is not going to happen if you have a lot of highly qualified but individual performers. You need cohesive and effective teams to make it happen, not people in individual silos. Everyone has different talents and it is important to leverage those talents. The power of your team is only as effective as your weakest link. Creating a winning team begins...
Tagged in: Team Leadership

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
It happens all the time. Managers complain that they cannot find qualified employees to take ownership yet they hold control and try to do too much themselves.  There is a better way and management teams in Westchester County NY have been working on changing from micro managing control to better method of empowerment and accountability. Clearly empowerment of staff creates better outcomes. Unfortunately, managers and executives find it very hard to let go and allow their staff to drive results. In some cases the need to be right prevents the manager from trusting his or her employees. If this fear of not being right is stopping you from letting go then you might want to ask yourself these two questions. First of all, have you provided your staff with all of the tools they need to succeed?   And secondly, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results? Here are some...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Creating high performing teams is a critical component to building a successful organization and maintaining a competitive edge in a rapidly changing market place. High performing teams begins with the leadership of the organization. Leadership’s role is to create the environment that allows teams to be successful by creating and providing a clear vision that empowers employees to succeed. When leaders of an organization provide a clear vision, their employees are more excited and passionate about accomplishing the organizational goals because they can see that they are an integral part of making the vision a reality. And, by encouraging employees to think outside of the box, to do things differently, to be creative and innovative, leaders empower their employees to accomplish the organization’s goals. To illustrate the importance of teams let’s consider a flock of geese. A flock of geese has a common goal – fly south for the winter. They...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
A high performing team is always created by an effective leader. Conversely, if an organization is full of performance issues you need only to look at leadership to diagnose the cause of the problem.   An organization is only as good as its people and as leader your first duty is to select the best people. After you have hired the best people your challenge as a leader is to keep them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, you must exceed customers’ expectations. This takes a coordinated effort of individuals that work together toward a common goal. You may have heard it said that there is no “I” in team. This is true and it means that individuals who are qualified and intelligent but do not work...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
There is a difference between being a great performer and leading a team of great performers. In fact, a great leader does not have to be the best performer or even a performer at all. That is hard to understand if you are a newly appointed manager who had mastered the individual roles of your department. Because of you great work you have been promoted to manager. But the qualities that made you a star performer are not the same qualities that will make you an effective leader. Here are leadership philosophies from two well-known management consultants. “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” —Kenneth Blanchard You can learn the skills of a leader just like you learned...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Technology has changed the way we work. Today there are more teams that work virtually than ever before. People work from home and a working team can be spread out geographically. A team could consist of employees with a manager leader or it could be a group of associates who are independent contractors. It could even be all volunteers in a volunteer organization. Regardless of the composition of the team, the things needed to create traditional high performing teams also apply to virtual teams. It needs to have a visionary and motivating leader combined with engaged and dedicated team members. These team members need to have a strong motivation for achievement of their goals. Moreover, the team’s goal AND the members’ individual goals must be aligned. Just because people don’t meet together in a physical location does not mean that there can’t be a culture of accountability. Every team and every...

Posted by on in Competencies and Strengths
As leader of a team you need to put forth your clear vision and values. That is the first step—knowing where you are going. Next, you need to inspire those on the team to do their very best. You start, of course, by getting the right people in the right jobs. This includes not just testing skills and knowledge but also examining attitudes and behaviors. You have selected the right people. The next step is finding each individual’s strengths and leveraged them. Everyone has talents and non-talents. A person’s non talent is not a problem by itself. However, it can become a problem if he or she is placed in a job requiring the use of that non talent. Help your team use their strengths to push their performance to new levels. Unfortunately, many of us spend time trying to correct weaknesses.   Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our...

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