In any business or undertaking, just like in any team activity, the most critical factor is the ability of your whole team to execute efficiently and effectively.
For a te you have no possibility﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽o make good decisions﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽ng﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽ectively﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽am to execute efficiently and effectively there are three basic factors that must be in place:
Trust is a two way street, if you want your employees or team to trust you, then you must first show that you trust them. And trust comes from honesty, a great manager must spend time to share as much detail about the plan as possible. You cannot expect someone to perform well and to do what you need to do if they don’t understand the reasons why they are doing it.
Many managers treat their teams on a need-to-know basis, and this nearly always leads to teams not understanding the reasons why are being asked to do things. And without a clear understanding of the reasons why you’re doing something you won’t be able to make clear and concise decisions, and so mistakes happen.
Any employee that doesn’t have a clear understanding of what they’re doing and why they are doing it has every reason to blame their boss.
If a manager doesn’t spend time to help their whole team understand the vision and the mission, then they get what they should expect to get - employees that don’t know how to act when decisions need to be taken.
If employees or team members don’t understand the mission there is an inherent lack of trust purely because they don’t know how are you are going to respond if and when mistakes take place.
When employees are treated as true members of the team and are trusted with information about the mission and plan they are in effect committed to success. When your employees have trust in you and the mission, then you can intern have trust in your employees ability to perform their jobs well.
Empowerment is an extension of the trust you share with your employees. If you believe they understand the mission and are committed to success then you will be much more ready to allow them to make decisions. This level of empowerment is how successful managers scale their business. If you do not empower your employees and expect them to always ask for permission, and ask you to make decisions for them then in effect you are asking them to manage you. You are in effect saying that you want to do their jobs for them and you’re giving them permission to delegate tasks to you.
Instead of asking your employees to use you as a subordinate, and to make every decision for them, if you trust your employees and you have provided them with enough information about the plan, then you can trust them to make most decisions independently. And you can trust that the decisions they make will be good decisions in-line with the plan. If you cannot trust your employees to make good decisions then you either need to retrain all replace those employees! Otherwise you have no possibility of being to delegate key functions to your team members.
Support is an integral part of the process. If you trust your employees and you empower your employees then in effect your letting them know that if things don’t work out as planned you’ve got there back. And if your employees know you have their backs then they trust you. Things don’t always go to plan, and when accidents or mistakes happen it is critical to use the opportunity to help solve the problem and to protect your team members. In doing this you will reinforce that your team can trust you, and this will encourage them to try as hard as possible to make the best possible decisions. If on the other hand you throw your team members “under the bus” and blame them for mistakes that take place then any trust you have built will be destroyed.
There are times when mistakes can be avoided my clear and open communication. And there are times when mistakes take place that you learn that some of your team members may not be in the right position or may need significant retraining. It really doesn’t matter what happens when a mistake takes place, what matter is how you deal with it. You will learn, and everyone else in the team will learn about how well the ideas of trust, empowerment and support are instigated across your team.
Until things break and need to be repaired everything you do is just words. When a problem happens and needs to be resolved, then and only then, how are you handle that resolution tells your whole team if you truly do trust, empower and support them.
Trust is not a measure of weakness; it is a pure measure of strength. By building trust with your team, you are learning about the capabilities of your team. Nothing about trust should negate the need for high-performance, integrity, honesty and ethical behavior. If someone breaks the fundamental rules of ethics then they cannot be part of your team.
One of the greatest concepts ever considered for business is in the book “good to great” (Jim Collins), the concept of ensuring that you have the right people on the bus, and that you get the wrong people off the bus. That book looks at the culture and behaviors of companies that have outperformed the market for many years (some of those companies have since fallen by the wayside, but that does not negate the lessons garnered from the times when they were great).
Trust is critical to any team, and trust must be two-way. If you learn that anyone on your team is ineffectual or unethical, as a leader you have the absolute responsibility to repair or remove that person. Teams are only as strong as the weakest link.
I have in the past seen many very high performing team members who have shown unethical all unscrupulous behavior, and I have seen these people keep their positions because then manager is unwilling to deal with their antisocial, unethical all generally destructive behavior. These people are actually a cancer on the organization, It does not matter how effective they are in elements of their job, if they are destructive to the team as a whole, then their behavior needs to be rectified all they must be removed. If this does not happen then the team leader is at fault and should be removed from the team. There can be no tolerance for passive aggressive negativity if you expect your team to excel.
Teams must demand that each member is trusted, empowered and supported. Any elements of the team that you cannot trust lead to poor performance for the team as a whole.
In summary the most effective teams in the world are ones that:
- all members of the team share the same vision,
- have significant understanding of the total plan,
- trust the team lead and all members of the team,
- are empowered to make decisions about the job they perform,
- and know that whatever decision they make the team is with them.
This allows the team to act with a sense of urgency, to make fast and accurate decisions, and to learn from any mistakes.
This all means that over time the team just get stronger and stronger.