There are many responsibilities and challenges that a leader must assume on a continual daily basis. As a leader there is no doubt that it takes a lot of energy and enthusiasm to manage these challenges.
Some of the most common challenges include:
As a leader it is vital that you have the requisite skills to motivate your team on an ongoing basis, motivation is the driving force that gets your team members to succeed. On a recent leadership management training course there was a question asked what are the key things that motivate people?
The trainer on the course then put up a slide with numerous things listed such as money, feedback, goals, job satisfaction etc. The surprising point to me was that on the list in a very dominant position it stated the following sentence:
“One of the greatest things your team desire from work is to work for an effective manager or leader”
So as a leader how good you are at your role, will have a massive impact on the motivation of your team.
Leaders need to have the ability to coach and train their team, most people need to learn and refresh their knowledge of the role they are working within. No matter what business you are working in there will always be change, with change comes the opportunity to learn new skills. All leaders must ensure that their team upskill where necessary.
It is often said on leadership development programmes that if we don’t change and move forward we end up going backwards
3. Set goals
The old story of ’if you don’t know where you are going it matters not what road you take’ is vital for leaders. One of the greatest skills a leader has is vision and then from the vision the ability to create and agree goals with the team to ensure the vision is achieved.
We have all been on leadership management training courses where the trainer will outline the best way to set goals is use the SMART method. The word SMART being an acronym for the best way to remember the key components of setting goals as outlined below.
This acronym has stood the test of time for goal setting and there is one other word that I feel is important for a leader when they are setting goals and that is agreed, the goal needs to be agreed by the person or team who is going to act on the goal.
From the large goal there often then needs to be mini goals for example:
The goal is to increase sales by 20% in the next 12 months from January 1st to December 31st.
From this there could be mini goals such as:
we need to achieve x sales on a daily basis
To create the sales on a daily basis we must telephone 25 new prospects daily, set up 3 appointments daily etc.
On a recent leadership development training it was stated that the more we can create mini goals based on activities the easier it is for the leader to manage the goal.
4. Manage performance
As a leader of people it is vital that we monitor and manage the performance of the individuals and the team. There is a saying in management that says ‘we need to inspect what we expect’ in other words we have to check that what we expect to be happening is in fact happening.
There are a number of steps involved in monitoring and managing performance. I remember in a leadership development program one of the leaders said the steps are as follows:
- Set and Agree goals with the individual or team
- Remove any obstacles
- Ensure the individual or team has adequate resources
- Agree how it will be measured and monitored
- Set up review dates
- Give effective relevant feedback
Finally if a leader can manage the above 4 areas well they are definitely on the way to successfully leading and managing their people and their team.
Author John Adair wrote a management book many years ago entitled ‘Learn to lead so others will follow willingly’ I have always thought what a great title for a book on leadership and management. The truth is we need to learn to lead so others follow and there are numerous leadership and management development training courses throughout the country where people can learn to do this.