UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Who’s Driving This Car?

Concept 26

Organizations without real leaders are like a car with no one driving. Ordinary cars perform every function that they were built to do; yet they lack the ability to navigate challenges directly in front of them. Newer models are beginning to acquire that functionality. Likewise, successful leaders are developing the functionality to perform in more dynamic environments. And, with each success they develop people to accomplish more. These leaders intentionally develop others to help accomplish what is in everyone’s best interest. Better people contributing more effectively create more productive and satisfying environments. These leaders are who need to drive the car.

Lead As You Learn
Individuals who lead the same they were taught typically create more problems than they solve. Old paradigms helped organizations, but marginalized people. Eventually, that approach resulted in marginalized organizations. Realize that an organization is a group working toward a specific goal. Groups can be missionaries, sports teams, or corporate executives. To facilitate progress, leaders must get teams to move forward their joint interests. As team members grow and evolve, the leaders must meet their changing needs and priorities. Promising a gold watch after 40 years is no longer enough.

Leadership is dynamic. Old teachings no longer apply to modern workplaces. The solution is to lead as you learn. Conversely, success is realized when you learn as you lead. So, when the question arises whether learning or leading comes first, the answer is yes! By actively serving people under their watch, leaders can keep their needs as the focal point. Because everyone’s needs evolve quicker than ever before, effective leadership demands hitting multiple moving targets. Simultaneously, leading and learning offers the only fighting chance to compete and win.

Lead For Results
Because organizations’ objectives include winning, scoring systems must be established. Scoreboards make it easy for a sports team to identify winning. Publicly held corporations have stock markets as intrinsic metrics to identify winners. But what about individuals in the bowels of these organization? Or, what about professionals like educators or research teams? Scorecards are effective management tools to facilitate measurement over specific time horizons. SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-based) goals work well where quantifying outcomes gets tricky. Nevertheless, always measure results.

Leaders must tell their teams explicitly how they perform. These performance targets pave the road in front of the organization. They reveal where the organization is heading. Consequently, direction provides what followers require to determine their individual objectives. Then, the leader can channel their desire to deliver the team’s needs for mutual success. The team can now identify their desired results.

All of this sounds great, but it only works when the group knows who is driving. Where is the authority? That knowledge is necessary for the team to position itself to respond to ongoing directions. As teams gain alignment, productivity improves. Next, results improve. Then, all contributors benefit. Such awareness only occurs with clear direction and progressive leadership. “Because I said so”, may meet the quarterly numbers. But, it ultimately leads to short tenures for leaders. The leader who drives the car such that others understand how and why has a significant advantage. That leader and the team now both enjoy power. That power promotes encouragement, motivation, preparation and results which then leads teams to their rewards.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 16, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Naughty Manager

Old School Manager

Bad managers aren’t born. They are made. Unfortunately, they are often made very early in life. Unlike genuine leaders who continuously evolve and grow, immature managers get some authority and park. It is not really the managers’ fault that they were made that way. It is totally their fault that they refused to acquire skills and evolve to the point they develop team members. Consequently, they fail to deliver sustainable results. Their small mindedness is evident in their behavior, motivation and lackluster productivity. Leaders take responsibility for their teams’ results. Mangers should aspire to assume responsibility for others, as opposed to barking about their authority and whining about their lack of respect.

Old School Guy
“I’m just an old school guy. That is how I came up in the business.” is a common statement by stagnant managers. What that really means is that they are old and lazy. You don’t want to work to improve. You don’t want to be held accountable for progress. Progress requires learning skills. It also requires accepting responsibility for better communications. Old School Guy complains that no one listens. He is oblivious to demonstrating respect or earning it with people skills.

When results become a problem, discipline is the default. Teams do not produce for Old School Guy because they do not like him! While this manager quickly points to his 20 years experience in the business, his more mature superiors regretfully recognize that he really had one year’s experience 20 times! But like any naughty child, opportunities to learn to improve happen. If only he grasped the opportunities to learn. If only….

New School Results
Communication, inclusion, dialogue are not fads. Results emerge by getting colleagues to buy into both vision and goals, then working hard toward metrics. Being the boss is not most important. Delivering results is. Communication requires listening first. As a leader, authority means having the last word. Is the first one necessary, too? For leaders who listen poorly, practice using phrases like: why do you think that?; what have you seen work in this situation?; how would your idea impact your direct reports? The magic happens when the leader embraces the silence after the question and listens!

Better questions yield better answers. Honest dialogue cultivates better solutions. Ask any child, the threat of pain promotes additional lying. Remove the pain through open, pre-emptive dialogue and more honesty results. Subordinates tend to respond better when they are genuinely heard. As a leader, make the decision. Also, consider other perspectives. Disregard the team’s input long enough and leaders will have no followers. And, a parade leader without a marching band is just someone with a stick taking a walk.

Ironically, the beauty of team success is that when it happens, enough credit is available to share. This by no means suggests rewards are distributed equally. It means the team wins. Nevertheless, mistakes happen. All knowledge does not reside in the masses. Bad decisions occur. Naughty managers start blaming everyone else in those times. However, according to leadership expert, John Maxwell, “Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses.” Leaders stand tall with integrity in tough times when that attribute is most valuable. No excuses. No threats. Just clear direction and accountability. Seize opportunity to lead. Or, just pout alone with no other toys to abuse!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 2, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Next Best Idea

Biz Team Ideas

Great leaders do not have exclusive rights to great ideas! Mediocre leaders definitely do not, regardless how much they believe they do. In making decisions, request ideas with the expectation of exploring them. The purpose is to create an environment of creative problem solving, not placating contributors. Every idea is not good, nor salvageable. But, the right process increases perspectives and ideas for circulation. Progress despises ninth place trophies. Monday’s idea may be dumb, but Wednesday’s idea may be game changing. But the group never gets Wednesday’s idea, if Monday’s ideas are choked. Avoid embracing the second best idea. But, the next idea may be the best for organizational growth.

Trust the Process
Encourage contributions. Leadership conveys authority, not ultimate intelligence. Evaluate and digest each suggestion. Celebrate creativity and input. Effective brainstorming accepts all ideas before a vetting process starts. In many circumstances, time does not permit the acceptance of all ideas. However, by creating the environment where encouraged ideas surface, more ideas emerge under any time constraint because of trust in the process. More ideas, more diverse opinions result in more opportunities for an optimal solution.

Leaders belittling inferior contributions effectively choke future contributions. Not discouraging the idea is vastly different from endorsing inferior input. Accepting and evaluating assorted contributions need to be part of the organizational culture. Contributors with seemingly dumb suggestions often facilitate discussions that challenge assumptions. The possibility clearly existed, but fear of challenging established protocols most likely stifled it. Open processes generate unconventional ideas that lead to innovation. Allow the group to benefit from new ideas.

Reward the Result
Leaders have authority which typically involves making decisions. Weak organizations fixate on making motions and casting votes. Sometimes protocol dictates that process to prevent abuses of power. Other times organizations default to that position to pretend to value all contributions. Still other times, organizations default to mediocrity by cowering behind fairness. But, effective leadership makes decisions! Part of the decision making process is rewarding contributions. Ideally, the expectation becomes that the best executed opportunities will deliver the best results. Give the organization the opportunities to execute the best ideas. Encourage ideas with clear and conspicuous rewards based on open input.

Requesting more input enables more innovation. Many problems result from old assumptions leading to poor performance. Poor performance can be avoided by growing a culture that actively welcomes and rewards the best ideas. Seek the best paths to the most favorable results. Assuming that the leader has all the answers is a recipe for disaster. Leaders make errors. They subscribe to poor theories. Sometimes they genuinely believe lies, then innocently spread them. Consequently, test seemingly bad ideas to unlock potentially valuable insight. Cultivate different perspectives. A different set of assumptions and experiences may result in unexpected value.

Ultimately, leaders who genuinely ask for contributions get them. Dealing with suggestions honestly, respectfully, and authentically creates an environment where suggestions have a chance to contribute to the greater good. All ideas are welcome. They may be discarded. They may be lousy. But, they are welcome. Seek the value in the bad ideas. Challenge assumptions. Leaders may have more authority. They do not have exclusivity to accuracy. Solicit ideas. Be open to new insights. The proposed solution may be lousy. But the next, best idea, that surfaces because the group believed in the process, may be the most valuable of all!

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

May 10, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accountability To What?

Buffalo Stampede

A herd of majestic buffalo rumble across the prairie creating a deafening roar. The ground literally shakes as they hurry in loosely orchestrated chaos. Upon reaching a cliff each one races beyond the edge and crashes into the rocks below. The insanity of the thundering group is catastrophic. At least, the group reached their tragic demise together. Buffalo herds, like traditional organizational structure, are built on blind loyalty to the larger group. Their success assumes higher collective intelligence. Sometimes, groups are wrong. People get hurt. Who was in charge?

Improving Performance
Leaders are established to help groups achieve specific results. Considering that such groups are collections of individuals seeking a common purpose or goal, leadership provides a structure facilitating that achievement. Particularly with time-sensitive goals, everyone running faster is a reasonable tactic. But, what about the individual? Is there contribution valued? Or, are they expected to be a component of some unknown, or loosely defined, plan?

Optimally, a group that unites for a specific goal features contributing members. By accessing more individual input, the group potentially benefits from increased output. A good plan is necessary. Additionally, it requires a leader taking responsibility for execution. By getting individuals to improve their input with better contributions, leaders coordinate and enhance results. In the absence of a leader, too often one emerges who will accept responsibility and the glory. But, does this truly meet the members’ of the body individual needs? Who is accountable?

Changing Behavior
Actually, leadership’s challenge is meeting the individual needs of the members of the body. The old saying, “If you want to be a leader, grab the baton and get in front of the parade.”, is both witty and frightening. Declaring a leader in the absence of one, does not mean the group’s needs are prioritized nor met. It definitely does not mean that individuals’ needs are prioritized and met. Yes, the leadership box is checked. Now, the herd is prepared to be led off the cliff, instead of randomly charging off it.

New and improved behavior requires individual accountability. To get behavior to change, every member must find individual benefit. When real leadership is applied effectively, processes and opportunities exist to develop individuals within the group’s framework. The body does not need four well developed arms to maximize performance. It needs two functional arms and two functional legs to perform in accordance with the established design. Sustainable results happen when individual components develop in alignment with the group’s success.

Essentially, the leader needs to equip group members to develop fully. The group members need to be equipped to fulfil their individual goals. Sounds like a lot of selfishness in the name of the team. However, individual self-interest is not selfishness. And anyone who claims that it is, secretly is unhappy that they do not have the group’s blind loyalty. Improving performance is easy. Changing behavior is hard. All members must contribute toward accountability to align behaviors. Otherwise, the result is ineffective leaders who essentially join the group in running off the nearest cliff.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Champion Building Ingredients

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I love gourmet cupcakes! Great cupcakes are a combination of presentation, aroma and of course, sweetness. The price tag does not make the cupcake great. The difference is how all the ingredients come together for a superior experience. Likewise, great teams deliver superior performance when all their ingredients come together. The right combination mixes in just the right way to create extraordinary results!

Acquire Talent
Talent is an essential ingredient. Talent wins championships! But, talent is merely a great place to start. The end product is likely to be better when starting with great pieces. But through their individual greatness, the pieces still must complement each other. Excellent coaching clearly facilitates developing cohesiveness. Nevertheless, the talent must be cultivated to perform as a unit. To get the most from the collective contribution, individual greatness may have to be sacrificed for the benefit of the whole. Or in the cupcake world, the great cupcake may sacrifice a little sugar in the cream cheese icing so that the icing’s tartness accentuates the super sweet decadence of the cake beneath it. The masterful cook acquires superior ingredients in order to combine them in such a way that maximizes their collective flavor. Ultimate success occurs when all ingredients contribute toward combined, optimal greatness.

Bring Passion
To achieve heightened levels of performance someone must really know how to cook. The ingredients are important. The recipe must be meticulously executed. But, the intangibles are absolutely essential. It really is more the chef, than the ingredients! For building a team, synergy represents the intangible. The combined ingredients produce more than they can individually produce separately. Passion is an intangible that creates value. Fundamentally, passion creates life! And, it makes the team work together better. But, that passion has to be channeled properly. That is the leader’s job. The ingredients must strategically interact to result in exciting accomplishments. Consequently, a great team emerges when every member accepts their individual role toward making the team great. Then, they passionately perform.

In conclusion, talent is the ticket to ride. Passion makes the ride epic! Commitment facilitates the ingredients to contribute more than they can singularly. Then, the coordinated effort delivers the result; it wins the prize! Championship-level output is not just ingredients and cooking. It is all elements passionately cooperating toward a common good. Good ingredients will get you eating cupcakes. A great recipe expertly executed will keep you wanting more. But by adding commitment to the process, people keep eating cupcakes until they have to loosen belt loops. Build the team that passionately wants to keep succeeding. Let’s grab another great cupcake!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 31, 2016 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chasing Yesterday

Chasing Yesterday

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~Pablo Picasso. While Picasso was an extraordinary artist, his fatalism would mercilessly crush most overworked, time-compressed commoners. Yes, today’s priorities may unfortunately extend into the next day. But, in a world where emergencies do not stop when the shift ends, how do you catch up to ongoing assignments and responsibilities? Chasing yesterday reflects the hopeless case of one day’s action items rolling over to the next day where they collide with the new day’s action items!

Expiring Action Items
Before combating these runaway priorities, put them in a category before the next day arrives. Execute a divide and conquer strategy. Expiring items are activities with an expiration date. Priorities that must be done by today or the opportunity is gone. Request For Proposals fall into this category. Identify these quickly so that responsibility is met before the expiration window passes. Also, lunch has an expiration date. If you work through lunch and don’t make other plans, you will go hungry for that day. And, no amount of rabbits pulled out of your hat can erase that noontime hunger. Prepare better going forward to avoid that pain. But for the moment, accept that you are hungry and defeated.

Exploding Action Items
These items come with a time frame and a catastrophic event. These action items must be prioritized and managed with a call-to-action for additional resources. Payroll functions are exploding items. Organizational Armageddon results from incomplete payroll functions. Hell knows no fury like an unpaid employee! When these problems are identified, they are resolved before most other functions (except larger exploding items). Expiring items that rollover remain incomplete. The train has left the station. Exploding items leave collateral damage! When items are trending toward rolling over to the next day, test their urgency. If there are serious consequences, then take action. Escalate their priority. Items that are not urgent require acceptance that they will rollover to the next day. That item can then be chased again. But, minimize those still.

Chasing yesterday imprisons. Alternatively, ignoring problems means someone else inherits the responsibility. “Not my job” works for the individual. It sucks for the team, particularly when others depend on your contribution. Chasing yesterday results in unfinished business. Watching yesterday’s action items rollover slows progress. Furthermore, ignoring yesterday’s commitments multiplies problems. Determine whether you have expiring or exploding action items. Make a call. Manage the consequences.

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

~Thank You T.P.

May 30, 2016 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Play or Do You Do?

Sushil of India celebrates his victory over Gogaev of Russia in their 66 kg men's free style gold medal match at the World Wrestling Championships in Moscow

A major highlight being in the sports media business is watching various athletes perform. A question came up recently, why do basketball athletes play and wrestling athletes wrestle? They don’t play wrestling; they wrestle! Wrestlers are a proud, fanatical group. Their sport is not merely an activity, it is a verb!

In managing Mo Patton Sports, the same question echoes: are we playing or are we doing? Like any business, it is important to know the product. Ours is sports reporting on local high schools. We know our audience. It is local high school athletes, fans, and the communities they represent. We require absolute clarity to our customers’ needs. We tell stories that ignite the passions and foster relationships with our audience so that we can connect our sponsors to them.

Players
While better athletes bring determination, discipline, and passion to their activity, it is still identified as play. A school of thought exists that high achievement can occur when your work is your play. Another school of thought says, nothing substitutes for hard work! Entrepreneurs and other professionals can enjoy their work immensely. They can be unreasonably passionate about their companies. But until they are grinding at it relentlessly, they cap their success. Study your craft, analyze your competition, practice your presentations, get expert coaching to prepare for victory, then prepare some more. Players get this. But, does this approach maximize performance?

Thinkers
Another way to contribute to an organization or endeavor is by discovering great ideas. Deploying talented people to come up with smart ideas is a long-established exercise for businesses to chart a path to success. However, the ideas are not the secret to profits. Execution is. The road starts with ideas. Then, intelligent planning needs to happen. But value only results from doing! The most brilliant thinkers cannot predict every contingency. But, the person who acts and delivers results is the one that makes the difference by actually creating value. Do something to get something!

Doers
Like the aforementioned wrestler, the performer and the performance are inextricably linked. Wrestling literally involves one performer competing against another performer where skill and competence is singularly exposed. Likewise, doers’ contributions are individually exposed. A seller either closed the deal, or did not. They may achieve another round of negotiations, but business is not consummated until a seller sells and a buyer buys. The performance keeps you employed. Likewise, the individual or group that produces the good or service has to be a doer. Imagine going to a law office and the lawyer tells you I think we should win this case, sends you a bill and heads to the golf course. Clearly, work must be performed!

Doers contributing to an individual mission or organization, own their individual results at some point. While someone may receive the work product and then add additional value to it, for doers, their contribution can be tracked to the source. Once success singularly defines your contribution, you fully understand the commitment and responsibility that you have in personally performing. Athletes that get this, embrace the responsibility to perform as part of their identity. The same is true for professionals. Do not play with the idea that your contribution does not matter, or that it is only a small part of the overall performance. Own your singular excellence and carry that with you in every competitive encounter and the results will reflect your success. Don’t play, do!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC

March 8, 2016 Posted by | Better Business, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leading, Serving and Spoiling

spoiled-brat

A kid wants ice cream for dinner. Dad says it’s OK. He’s only a boy once. He can eat vegetables and grilled skinless chicken tomorrow. But, tomorrow brings a bigger outburst resulting in more ice cream. The next day is fast food after a late school event. Very soon the kid has obesity issues and subsequent social challenges. And, it all started because ice cream for dinner “is not that bad”. Lack of discipline and accountability, that is what was so bad!

Leadership
In a business, the organization is an entity to itself. The entity has members and leaders. Leaders are often financially, socially and emotionally invested in the organization’s success. But, the leader is fundamentally a member of the organization and separate from it. In operating a team to lead the organization, it is unhealthy for the needs of one founder, one leader, one stakeholder to supersede the needs of the entity. All leaders must have a contributing role and be held accountable to fulfilling those responsibilities. Dysfunctional leadership that caters to one individual’s specific whims are vulnerable to setting priorities that fundamentally inhibit the organization. “The founder deserves a bigger bonus despite our cash crunch because of all he has done for the organization.” Or, “Let’s approve funding the CEO’s pet project because his ego is so invested, despite that all market research points to the confirmed death of that market.” Coach Tom Landry described, “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” Placating a spoiled founder helps no one in the short run, nor the long run for that matter. It simply demonstrates that true leadership failed!

Teamwork
Organizationally, collaboration maximizes value. Several people aligned toward a common goal can do more than one person performing at maximum effort, or many people working hard individually. Effective organizations rely on coordinating efforts such that all contributors have a role and the obligation to perform it. When one individual overrules the group in performing its duty, the dysfunction poisons other leaders, and then other contributors. The organizational dynamics must be in place for correction and clarity. If Dad continues to serve the kid ice cream for dinner, then Mom needs the authority to remind both of them that healthy food choices are a family priority. Let the kid cry. Do the right thing! As leaders, proper stewardship requires making the most intelligent and practical decisions possible to maximize the performance of the entire team’s objectives.

Maximum productivity is most probable when an organization’s leadership prioritizes the value of the entire entity. Of course, leaders have egos. They have agendas. They have personal biases. They also have a responsibility to serving the entire entity. This responsibility includes nourishing, cultivating and maturing the total organization, not just the first among equals. Leaders must lead. Teams better cooperate. The competitive marketplace is hard enough to defeat without internal egos siphoning energy and creating obstacles from inside the organization. Ultimately, the choice is simple. Leaders can work together for the entity’s greater good or they can placate privileged parties while presiding over inevitable failure.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC

March 6, 2016 Posted by | Better Business | , , , , | Leave a comment

Be An Impact Player

In leading Mo Patton Sports, a progressive sports media company, I need to be visible and engaged at athletic and business events. Recently, at a state championship game, I saw a local sports superstar in the stadium stands. Or better yet, he saw me. While walking the sidelines, I routinely glance into the stands to observe the fans. I want to know how they are engaging the game. While glancing in the stands again, our eyes connected. More importantly, he waved and pointed at me to make sure that I saw him. I pointed back and we shared a smile. This young, talented and engaging athlete made an impact because he was aware and recognized the influence that I represented in his environment.

People have several opportunities to make an impact. In organizations, assistants can save the day by performing an administrative miracle for an overburdened manager. Teammates can come off the bench to make a game saving play. Clearly, impacts result from an individual using skills that they already have in an extraordinary and valuable way.

Extraordinary
Communities, organizations and teams benefit from people who go beyond typical expectations to achieve goals. Significant contributions result from seizing opportunities to be exceptional. Executives who remember the names of underlings, then additionally recall the names of their spouses and children, are extraordinary. All of sudden, employee number 2241 firmly believes that she is an important contributor and is willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate and justify her importance. Her performance trends toward Exceeding Expecations and the reason is that the executive prioritized remembering details about her from an earlier conversation. That leader is an impact player as a result of facilitating superior efforts leading toward executing meaningful results. Susan in accounting has transformed from employee 2241 to become an internal advocate for leadership’s caring for the hard working staff that contributes to the business. Susan is exponentially influencing the company’s success because the executive made an extraordinary and valuable gesture.

Valuable
Facilitating success in an organization ultimately needs to be reflected in tangible contributions. Feel good anecdotes are great for morale. But organizations thrive on measurable progress. An impact player must affect the final score, the bottom line. The enthusiasm that is created by positive recognition has to transform into quantifiable results. Successful leaders give their contributors the resources to produce the desired metrics. Consequently, impact players possess, develop and deploy a combination of effort, tools and performance. Value is typically focused on financial gains, but it can equally apply to cultural improvements. Reduced absenteeism, increased skill development, or demonstrated teamwork are also ways organization experience value. And, they directly result from people behaving constructively. Impact players who contribute their skills and esprit de corps eventually maximize productivity.

Be intentional. Be an impact player. Scrutinize your skill set. Develop your attributes to the point that your contribution is extraordinary and valuable. People will notice. You will notice. Seek the opportunity to repeat the process. Then, encourage others to follow your example. And, always be prepared to request and accept the additional rewards!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Mo Patton Sports LLC

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Need Your Contribution!

Contribution

A charismatic leader purposefully walks among a group of subordinates, then sternly declares to them all, “I need your contribution!” Leaders often ask for someone’s contribution when what they really mean is “work harder and get done what I want accomplished”. In a classroom setting, “I need your contribution” means that a student needs to add to the discussion or solution. In both cases, an authority figure wants to extract more effort for better results. But, what if the statement implied a sincere desire for the leader to get a personalized contribution for the follower’s benefit?

In a certain group setting, Meagan wanted to contribute badly. The results-focused leader seized the opportunity to allow Meagan to demonstrate her expertise. She performed the required task with excellence! Unfortunately, her contribution only marginally contributed to the group’s efforts. The leader still needed better results. He needed the entire group to contribute. As it turns out, Meagan’s contribution empowered her peers to perform more enthusiastically. They added unique skills and solutions to the group’s challenges. They innovated, they collaborated, and they shared in the group’s progress. And, eventually they all added their piece to the group’s success.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” ~Lao-Tzu. Typically, “I need your contribution” exposes an authority figure as condescending. When presented in a progressive tone, the same sentence empowers a team to bring individual talents for their communal benefit. Optimally, “I need your contribution” means that each person claims their purpose. Everyone must perform their purpose for everyone to benefit. A title does not reflect expertise. However, it does reflect responsibility. Leaders are responsible for results. The wise ones take full advantage of every resource to achieve them.

Leaders don’t need to make their teams better. Leaders need them to be better. To encourage teams to want high performance, the motivation must first come from within each team member. Groups that are empowered with skills (training) and encouraged to contribute for their own communal benefit (purpose) will be much more effective than any leader using a carrot, stick, or other incentive. Effective leaders need their Meagan’s contribution in order to generate the results that the whole group expects and deserves. Essentially, they need Meagan’s courage so that everyone else will contribute and exponentially raise the collective bar. Then, everyone benefits.

Reflect on your organizations, teams, and groups. What are you truly trying to accomplish? Does each individual member feel the need to contribute? Is the leader really willing to accept the group’s contributions? Confident leaders “need your contribution” for both their individual and all contributors’ benefit. An effective leader’s objective is delivering results, not hoarding accolades. Share the accolades, earn the results. Remember to say thank you!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal Of Hunter & Beyond
Thank You MM!

April 13, 2015 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , | Leave a comment