Eight Leadership Techniques for Outstanding Teams
By Ed Sykes
Apply the following eight leadership techniques to create
highly motivated, self-directed, and extremely productive
employees and teams:
1. Provide Clear Expectations
Winning organizations know where they are going and what
is required to get there. Employees constantly need to know
what they need to accomplish. Communicating expectations
in a clear, concise manner is important. It‚s also important to
communicate your expectations on an individual,
department, and organizational level. Continue
communicating your expectations on an ongoing basis.
Whether one-on-one, through memos, or in a team meeting,
keep communicating your expectations.
2. Give Your Employees the Tools for Success
New computers are acquired, but no training is provided for
the computers; or worse, the training doesn‚t meet the need
of the employees to be successful. The policies are not
implemented or followed, so employees are hindered by
barriers. Time and time again I hear from employees in my
workshops that management doesn‚t give them the
necessary tools for success. Here‚s the secret: Ask your
employees what they need, and then give it to them.
3. Recognize Good Work
Take the time to recognize good work. Recognize employees
for finding solutions, failing less, learning more, taking
initiative, working with others, creating outstanding
customer service solutions, sharing ideas; and the list goes
on. You get the idea. Take time to give a sincere compliment
for work well done and you, your organization, and your
employees will reap the rewards.
4. Get Interested in Your Employees
Take the time to find out what interests your employees.
Find out what their passions are in life. Is it their families? Is
it a sport or hobby? Is it a vintage car or boat? Is it that
they want to accomplish the next level in their education? Is
it a career goal? Whatever it is, the great leaders take the
time to find out how to help their employees accomplish their
goals. Leaders know that by helping their employees
succeed in life, the employees will have more passion about
helping their leaders accomplish their goals.
5. Value Their Opinions
Employees want to be involved in the process at work.
Giving their opinions is one way to accomplish this. Take
the time to really listen to what your employees are saying.
Take the time to ask questions. Take the time to
acknowledge their opinions. Will all employees give
opinions in a positive way? No. Our job as a leader is to set
the parameters for giving opinions in such a way that states
a positive outcome for all. You might say, „Mike, you have a
lot of valuable ideas and I appreciate that you take the time
to share them. So that everyone gets the most out of your
ideas, please communicate them with a positive outcome in
mind.‰ Now you have set the tone for giving opinions. Also
take the time to really listen for the „gold nuggets‰ of
information when an employee gives you an opinion. They
are sharing an idea, a concern, or an emotion that you may
be able to address to help take your organization to the next
6. Grow Your Employees
Encourage your employees to develop themselves.
Encourage them to take classes, delegate tasks and
challenging assignments, and then provide support. I say
this because I run into employees who tell me the following:
„The company wants us to take additional classes and even
offers tuition reimbursement. However, when I ask my
manager to approve my request or when I actually take the
courses, he/she makes comments inferring that these classes
might interfere with work. That‚s not fair.‰
No, it‚s not fair. If your employees want to develop
themselves, support them. Be the Captain of Progress and
remove the barriers to development. Don‚t worry about
losing your employees. Once you do this, they will become
even more loyal to your goals and word will quickly spread
that you are the person to work for because you develop
your people for success.
7. Communicate the Progress
Many times I will ask the participants in our team building
program, „How often does your manager, supervisor, or vice
president sit down with you and give you a progress report,
informal evaluation, or job evaluation?‰ The majority of the
participants will say once or maybe twice a year during the
formal review progress.
This should never happen! Outstanding leaders realize that
ongoing communication is the key to outstanding
performance and that employees yearn for this feedback.
Outstanding leaders make sure their followers constantly
know where they stand. They are constantly communicating
with their employees in relationship to the overall goals.
They are constantly recognizing their employees‚ stellar
performances and coaching them in „areas of improvement.‰
Empathy, consistency, honesty, and a positive attitude when
giving employees feedback are important to the way the
employees receive the feedback.
8. Make Partners of Your Employees
Once we get past the money reason as to why people work
for you, we realize that one of the reasons why employees
work for your organization is the following: „I want to make
a difference.‰ Time and time again you will find people
working for organizations when they could easily be
compensated elsewhere far more than what they are actually
receiving; but they enjoy working for that organization
because they believe in the organization‚s mission, values,
and goals and believe they are making a difference in that
Make your employees your partner in achieving your goals.
Communicate the mission, values, and goals and ask them
how they see themselves in relationship to these goals. Ask
your employees for feedback on how to better accomplish
these goals. Involve them in the decision-making process
and let them have a vested interest in the success for the
Take these leadership steps today to take you, your
employees, and your teams to the next level of success.
About The Author
Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success
coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress
management, customer service, and team building. You can
e-mail him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at
(757) 427-7032. Go to his web site,
http://www.thesykesgrp.com, and signup for the newsletter,
OnPoint, and receive either free ebook, "Empowerment and
Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional," or "Secrets of
Outstanding Customer Service."