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The Leadership Mirror


I often get comments of frustration and complaints from organizational leaders concerning their employees.  “They just don’t care” or “They seem so unhappy” or “They never seem content and always want more.”  Workplace drama.  Lack of focus.  Apathy.  Mediocrity. Immaturity.  Blame. Absenteeism. Gossip.

 

     The fact is your team reflects your leadership.  You have the team you deserve. 

 

     Ouch!  “That’s not fair!” You protest.  “I can’t force people to change and do the right thing, and I certainly can’t change their personality!!”  I agree that you fundamentally cannot change other people.  However, there are a couple of things you can do that will assure you have the right people doing the right things.

 

     To build a great team in an organization, the two essentials that you as the leader must clarify and communicate are core values and the accountability structure. 

 

     Core values are the organization’s non-negotiables.  I recommend clarifying and defining three to seven core values.  The fewer the better.  One way to clarify your core values is to list and describe the attributes and attitudes of your top three employees.  Narrow that list down to the 3 to 7 values that must be core for each member of your team.  Use these values to hire and fire.  These core values must be non-negotiable.  If a person does not fully embrace your core values, they cannot be on your team.  Jim Collins in his classic, Good to Great, says this is “getting the right people on the bus”

 

     Once you have a team that fully embraces your core values, then you must determine the right “seat on the bus” for each one.  To do this, first define the seats in your business based on function.  Each seat must have a specific set of accountabilities defined.  Gino Wickman in his book “Traction” says for a person to qualify for a certain position, they must GWC; Get it, want it, and have the capacity to fulfill the accountabilities of that position.

 

     Here’s the lesson.  Your team reflects your leadership and management.  Clarifying and communicating core values as a leader and accountabilities as a manager will provide the foundation for a great team. 

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