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Leading from the Balcony

leadershipWhat a beautiful view of Manhattan; you get to experience this iconic city from a very different perspective from up here than you do when you're on the street level and an active participant in the frenetic pace that is New York!

This view is a perfect metaphor for how leaders should view the teams and enterprises that they lead. Have you ever taken the time to look at your enterprise or team from the balcony instead of the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day activities? Just like this picture gives you a different perspective on Manhattan, viewing your business from the balcony will give you an interesting new perspective. 

Edwards Demming, often referred to as the father of modern-day quality management, revolutionized the field of business by introducing the concept of working on systems rather than in systems. According to Demming, leaders add the most value when they work on improving the three critical components of their teams: charter, design, and relationships.

Achieve Objectives with a Well-Defined Charter

A team's charter outlines why the team exists and includes essential elements such as mission, customers, values, and goals. A well-defined charter sets the tone for the team's work and clarifies what they need to accomplish. When leaders work on improving the charter, they ensure everyone is aligned with the team's purpose and can contribute effectively towards achieving the set objectives.

  • Your Mission: This part of your charter is short and to the point. It defines your team’s core purpose. It lays out what your team does and what your team doesn’t do.
  • Your Customers: Who are you trying to reach? To adequately build and grow your business, you need to clearly define your target audience.
  • Your Values: A clearly-defined set of values helps your team work together toward achieving your goals. Aligned behaviors and performance expectations keep everyone on the same page.
  • Your Goals: From general to specific and short-term to long-term, your team’s goals give everyone a target to reach. Once broken down into measurable actions, your team knows what they’re shooting for and what success looks like.

Design: The Framework of Your Team

Design is another critical component that describes what the team does and how it does it. A well-designed team has a straightforward core work process, defined roles and responsibilities, and established procedures and norms. When leaders work on improving the design, they create a framework for the team to operate efficiently, which leads to increased productivity and better outcomes. 

  • Your Core Work Process: What makes your business tick? Core processes are the main activities of your business. From marketing to sales to customer service, these are the more structured processes that make up your business.
  • Your Defined Roles & Responsibilities: Be intentional about defining roles within your team. When there are no questions about who is responsible for what, everyone knows what they need to accomplish and will behave accordingly to meet expectations.
  • Your Established Procedures & Norms: Your established norms and procedures outline the ways your team interacts with each other and with those outside of your organization. With standard procedures in place, you can better manage your team and identify any behaviors that don’t align with your values.

Healthy Relationships Foster Team Success

The third critical component that leaders should work on is relationships. How people get along and work together to accomplish the mission is essential to a team's success. Leaders should work on building trust and respect among team members, encourage effective communication, promote cohesion, and foster synergy. Leaders who focus on improving relationships create a conducive environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, and high performance.

  • Build Trust & Respect: Trust provides a sense of safety within your team. When your team members feel that they can trust you and each other, they will work together more effectively because they don’t fear negative reactions from others. When you show respect for your team as their leader, their behavior will reflect that in return.
  • Encourage Effective Communication: Effective communication goes hand in hand with building trust. It also boosts morale and encourages employee engagement. Communication is vital for efficiency as well because any changes or updates can spread throughout the team quickly.
  • Promote Cohesion: When your team is cohesive, everyone feels like they matter. Each member can see how their contributions helped achieve the ultimate goal. The focus moves away from individual team members and toward the success of the team as a whole.
  • Foster Synergy: All of these qualities combined will foster synergy within your business. The results will speak for themselves. When you can lead effectively, your team will be more productive and successful.

Improve Your Team’s Performance with Resources from AchieveNEXT

Which of these will be your priority in the coming weeks? Leaders should work on all three components simultaneously to create a well-balanced, high-performing team to achieve optimal results. By doing so, they can ensure that their teams are aligned with the organization's goals, operate efficiently, and achieve exceptional outcomes.

If you are looking to improve your organization's performance, AchieveNEXT can help you achieve your goals. Their team of experts provides strategic and financial solutions that empower businesses to make better decisions and drive growth. Contact AchieveNEXT today to learn more about how they can help your organization succeed.

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