How to choose to act to become a more efficient leader and team member?
To attract and create success, you have to choose to close the gap between what you know you should do and what you really do. During our working and private life, each of us holds three roles that are not mutually exclusive, these are: player, coach and team member . Each of these roles has characteristics that are also applicable to the others and each of them benefits from the others.
The best qualities to fill the aforementioned roles are listed below, each quality is based and evolves from the previous one and the last quality indicated in each list is the result of the previous ones.
The characteristics of a good “player”
The player is an individual who is part of a team, organization or company. The best features to be successful in your job when you play the role of “player” are:
It is good to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, if we have no idea who we are or what we do, nothing we learn will really matter. Being self-aware means being able to evaluate oneself honestly, accepting one’s flaws and striving to improve.
If you are aware of what you excel at, you are able to concentrate on this element so as to become indispensable and be aware of what to avoid. However, one must be able not to fall into the trap of arrogance, and the best way to avoid it is to learn to listen to those around us and who know us better. By listening to those around us, to their praise but above all to their criticism, you can find out which part of ourselves we must work to improve.
One is aware of oneself when one knows the elements one is able to control one hundred percent, such as attitude and commitment, and lets go of what cannot be directly influenced, since it absorbs the energies that would be better used elsewhere.
An example in this sense is the teaching of coach John Wood to his players: Wood, during each season at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) taught his players how to correctly wear socks to avoid the formation of blisters, thanks to this insignificant detail the players were still fresh at the end of the game.
An insignificant but controllable detail allowed the players to do their job better. and you let go of what you cannot directly influence, because it absorbs the energies that would be better used elsewhere.
Exercise: to be more aware we can ask the following questions.
- What are you skilled at?
- What should be improved?
- What is our plan to improve ourselves?
Passion is our engine, it pushes us to do what we have to and can identify and separate our work from that of others. The attitude and the way of approaching a job / action is what determines the sense of satisfaction that we feel in carrying it out. If you instill passion in your work, you have an integrated sense of motivation that makes the action easier in difficult moments and prepares us to be ready when opportunities present themselves. Sometimes the same obstacles can instill passion, the desire to overcome them can help us see them more as learning opportunities, it is in fact through the discomfort that we learn and grow more and not remaining in our bubble of safety and comfort. Talent alone if not activated by passion is useless.
Exercise 1: apply a change of mentality using “I have the pleasure / honor / luck of (writing an article, cooking a dish, etc …)” instead of the mandatory verb “I have to”.
Exercise 2: Write down three main obstacles encountered and answer the question “How can they become sources of motivation?”
Discipline allows us to maintain and perfect a system aimed at improving ourselves, creating a set of habits and a structure that provides us with an advantage over others. Success is not found by chance, it is created through the construction of habits that allow us to achieve it and thanks to the continuous repetition of the basic actions required, until we reach perfection. Discipline is the system of a set of constant habits that allows us to be the top of the top in the designated sector and avoid unnecessary distractions, focusing on priorities. It translates into three main elements: 1. Decide what you want, 2. Determine the price to pay to get it, 3. Choose whether you are ready to pay it or not. It’s not the concentration on the result,
- What are the three most important job responsibilities you have?
- What are you really doing at work?
If you don’t spend at least eighty or ninety percent of the time on the three primary responsibilities, then you’re not as efficient as you could.
4. Willingness to learn.
It is important to accept that you never stop learning and be willing to learn. Knowledge is one of the controllable elements we have, we are always able to control our advantage in this element and to do this you have to put aside your ego, have an open mind and be ready to accept the feedback of others, so not to get stuck in your growth process. We must educate our eyes to recognize great ideas, educate our heart and mind to accept failure and recognize it as a learning moment, those who criticize us can become our best teacher.
5 . Self esteem.
Self-esteem attracts success and is the result of self-awareness, passion in what you do and commitment to improve. Self-esteem is like a beacon that highlights one’s work and gives guidance and energy to others. Showing self-esteem does not mean being arrogant, but being sure of yourself and what you are doing. Self-esteem is like a magnet that attracts what you want, it allows us not to get stuck in the past, but to absorb the necessary lesson from it and then move on.
The characteristics to be a good “coach”
The “coach” is an individual who has authority over others. Here are the qualities to focus on if you want to improve your driving function and the ability to influence others.
Vision means understanding the future of one’s “game” and the purpose of one’s “team” and committing everything towards the final goal. An important aspect of the vision is to trust your beliefs and support them against criticism, but at the same time have the will to adapt them if necessary, it is dedication that should not be confused with stubbornness.
You must be able to have an open mind and explore the news, but everything must always be aimed at the goal you want to achieve. Leaders have a way of thinking that is based on the ability to have an overview, a view on everything through planning and commitment, to be able to see the potential of their employees and good ideas.
One of the important functions of a leader is knowing how to sell his vision, give inspiration and convince others committed to the same goal. It is vital to know your vision first and then communicate it.
Exercise: if you are a leader ask yourself the following questions.
- Do your subordinates know your vision?
- Do you regularly communicate to everyone where they work?
- If not, why not? Why don’t you know it too? Why do you think they don’t need to know? Or why have you never thought about it?
Exercise 2: spend time identifying the goal of your company or organization. The goal is different from your company’s function. Could you explain it?
Culture is the physical and psychological environment created by a leader and aimed at motivating its subordinates, it is the collective set of values, behaviors and beliefs of an organization, it grows and thrives in an environment where everyone feels appreciated and sure. Creating a strong culture does not mean forcing others to follow us, but making them willing to do it.
Those who are part of a successful culture feel they have an important role and want to improve and grow. The culture of an organization is created by a leader, but if it is well thought out and communicated, it survives and is maintained by everyone. Culture is the place to incubate your vision and execute it.
Exercise 1: you can create a list to provide your employees weekly to strengthen culture, for example:
- Last week I used my strengths in …
- Last week I contributed to my team when …
- Last week I felt valued and appreciated when …
- These are the priorities and what I want to help with this week.
Exercise 2: how does your team define success? Is your company culture based on money, securities or is it intangible? If you find that your company’s culture is toxic, what steps do you take today to change it?
A leader is at the service of his employees and brings out the best in them by understanding their desires, needs and motivations. It is committed to providing value to anyone who comes in contact with him, to having empathy to better understand the work from their point of view and has the aim of knowing his employees to serve them better. If the employees understand that the leader cares about their interest, does not criticize them but pushes them to grow, then there will be no need to worry about their commitment, since it will be automatic.
Exercise 1: if your employees were to list three qualities that describe what they would be? And what would you like these three qualities to be?
Exercise 2: How do you reward your employees? Do you really know what motivates each of them?
Exercise 3: regularly check that your employees feel fulfilled with questions such as “What have you done this week that you would like to do less or more?”, “How did you use your strengths today?”.
Exercise 4: use “we” instead of “me” to make employees understand that you are there to serve them.
Character shows who you really are, so the lack of it and integrity compromises a leader’s credibility. Character is the basis that inspires and pushes others to follow us. A leader’s actions sometimes count more than words, as they are often the only thing employees see and what attracts their trust.
Exercise 1: show your employees to be consistent, show your values and act on them.
If you are a leader with character, who serves your subordinates, creates a healthy culture and has a clear vision, then the last step is empowerment. Being able to delegate and empower your employees is a way of growing as a leader, becoming more confident, having greater confidence in others and at the same time strengthening their self-confidence.
Responsibility is linked to the first quality of a player, to self-awareness, as a leader you must know what you are able to do, have the vision of hiring others who help us succeed and have the character to serve them in a culture where they can improve and thrive and where they can delegate.
Exercise: 1. Which of the five qualities above do you want to improve? 2. Choose a habit to improve or eliminate, then concentrate on pursuing positive or decreasing behavior and stopping the negative behavior altogether for six days. 3. Ask three people to make sure of your progress. 4. At the end of the six days, check that you have developed a healthy habit. 5. Repeat everything with another habit.
The qualities of an efficient “team”
“Team” refers to any group, organization or company that must work together to achieve a result. The teams are made up of self-aware individuals, disciplined, ready to learn, confident and full of passion, led by individuals with vision and character, who have built a healthy culture capable of serving and empowering each “player”. However, a “team” must have certain characteristics to be successful.
A team is made up of individuals who come together towards a single goal, idea, belief or mission. Success is created when commitment is accompanied by shared conviction. It is good to set realistic goals but just out of reach, belief is all you need to overcome the gap, however you have to be careful of cracks, individuals who lack conviction and can bring down the whole system. In this sense, creating a sense of responsibility and therefore of the rules that apply to everyone helps to create a culture of conviction.
A team can only win based on how much glory and interest each member is willing to sacrifice for collective success. Every act of selfishness in a team erodes its plots and sacrifices its success, you can be ambitious and resolute but channel these qualities towards the success of the team.
Exercise: prepare 15 cards and write the name of a colleague on each one. Every day he sends 3 things to a colleague: introduce him to a contact from whom they could learn or benefit, offer him something that could provide value (a book, article etc …), ask him how it is going and if you can help in something.
3. Transparency of roles.
A team is like a puzzle, each piece is distinct but precious for the whole to work, when there is clarity of the roles, each part of the whole includes the work of the other single pieces and how each of them influences the actions of the others. The transparency of roles derives from the leader, but the acceptance of one’s role depends on the individual. The success of a team is achieved if the different individuals manage to act as a unit and this is possible only if the assigned roles are accepted.
Exercise 1: 1. Establish and communicate the role of each “player”. 2. Make everyone believe in their role. 3. Praise anyone who excels in their role, regardless of what it is.
Exercise 2: what are the responsibilities of your role? Can you list them? How can you improve the execution of your role? Have you talked to your leader about how to improve? Why not?
Communication is the method in which we interact with the world around us, a team is unaware of what it does not communicate and does not share. Communication is based on trust and listening, and each type of communication must be personalized to the context and the individual with whom it takes place. Through it, it is ensured that the team detects dissent, conflict of roles or lack of unity before these elements become unmanageable. A company must strive to carry out clear and open communication, so that employees do not feel like mere gears but active members of an organization that values them.
An organization created by individuals who believe in the company’s mission, ready to share glory and failures in an altruistic way and who take on their roles by communicating effectively, will then act cohesively.
Exercise: Who is the star in your organization? Who are the “players” who support the “star” and how do they serve the mission? Who keeps the team together? Who takes care of the little things that lead the team to success? Who doesn’t care about praise or praise? How do you personally contribute to the cohesion of your team?