Earlier this week we posted a blog about the difference between true teams and work groups. While this may have seemed clear on paper, the execution requires some key transitions and some considerable thought on how you want to execute things moving forward.
If you’re set on having a successful 2015, chances are you’ve already begun planning for the New Year. Not only is planning your leadership training into your business training a natural fit, but it will help you in your execution in other areas of your business as well. Below I list out four of the key transitions to achieve successful leadership, with a breakdown of the requirements for each and an action to take before the end of the year to help you achieve that transition in the New Year or before.
Key Transition #1: Regularly act as a member of a team instead of a team leader by engaging with your team members in a way that makes them feel included in the process, rather than having the process placed upon them.
ACTION ITEM #1: Engage in some reverse mentoring. Have the members of the leadership team (CEO, COO, etc.) or the top producers engage in mentoring relationships in which they are being mentored by the younger financial advisors or members of their staff. While it seems unorthodox, it will reveal truths about how your team functions that are crucial to unveil in order to operate as a true team with honest interaction and communication.
Key Transition #2: Invite the members of your team to teach you, so that shared learning occurs rather than simply top-down learning. This means that you, as a leader, must move from personally oriented activity to team productivity by aligning and merging your individual goals into team goals and celebrating and rewarding team success.
ACTION ITEM #2: A good leader must be able to find the genius in others. Use a team meeting to determine where your team members exhibit the most interest and strength. Is it in day to day operations, investment strategy, client relationship building? Help shape and draw these out for their team member so that they can eventually take on leadership roles within these areas.
Key Transition #3: Regularly share leadership with other members of the team by modeling team behaviors, encouraging team participation, and using co-creation to generate goals that all members of the team agree to.
ACTION ITEM #3: Start to engage in what we call Total Team Leadership, where you take an element (or several) of your business and start to share that leadership amongst the team membership. The second action item will be helpful in determining where this will be possible for your team.
Key Transition #4: Model attending to team goals and not just individual goals. Essentially you have to walk the talk. If you are extremely focused on team goals in your weekly meetings, but pay no attention to these overall objectives in your day-to-day execution, your team members will slowly start to doubt your commitment to them, and to the efforts you’ve put toward co-creating them.
ACTION ITEM #4: Illustrate for your team members how your daily actions factor into the overall success of the team, and the goals that everyone is benchmarking that success against. Do this in the same fashion that you do for your team members. Perhaps the time you spend on the phone with clients, though different from the time your relationship managers spend, is contributing in an equally crucial way. Find a way to illustrate this for your team members alongside their contributions.
Considering these transitions and action items, take time to ask yourself the coaching questions below, and ask them again with your team present. Do this before and after you begin to transition through these action items.
Coaching Questions from this Article:
Do your team members see you as a member of the team?
In what ways do you invite your team members to teach you?
How do you share the leadership of your team?
Do you serve your team goals before serving your individual goals?
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