How Well Are You Leading and Motivating Your Team?
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Posted by: Vincent Luciani - Association Director
who’s been in the technology industry long enough will attest, despite the fact
that you may have had countless individual achievements throughout your career,
the truly rewarding experiences come from leading a team of individuals to
reach a common goal. I can only assume that it’s akin to the movie
industry. Think of all those great actors who took on a director’s role
in order to achieve further creative fulfillment. Clint Eastwood, Robert
Redford and Mel Gibson come to mind. It almost seems like the next logical step
in ‘completing’ yourself.
Early on in my career, I learned that the
primary responsibility of an IT executive is to lead others to produce
meaningful and measurable results. But without proper leadership and
motivation, your teams are constrained from achieving great things. Let’s
looks closely at some techniques to help you jumpstart your team.
In a world of
acronyms, here is one more to add to your arsenal: Dedication Attitude Reward Educate…DARE.
Dedication – Hopefully, your dedication
to your employer is fierce. But contrary to what you may be thinking, I
am referring to the dedication of your team. More likely than not, the
reason you are in a leadership position is partly, or perhaps even mostly, due
to those working for you. I can no longer count the number of times my
teams have performed 3 a.m. Sunday morning system upgrades, or proactively handled
issues that could have escalated into much larger problems had they not jumped
into action, all without my involvement. While it’s true you can’t teach
dedication, you can recognize it, which begs the question, "Are you adequately
recognizing the dedication of your team and helping to create an environment
that recognizes dedication?”
Attitude – You may not realize it but
your attitude sets the tone by which those who surround you will emulate.
Would you want to work for a manager who was depressed and resented coming to
work each day? No. Do you think the field general can rally his troops by
stating "Men, there’s absolutely no way we can win this battle”? Of
course not. Leaders have positive attitudes, and they pass that attitude
onto others: it’s infectious. I know, I know…we all have bad days, and
hopefully you have many more good ones than bad. But on those occasions, try to be conscious
of it and suppress it. Draw strength from some of your past
successes. Leaders think positively.
Reward – People can be rewarded in
different ways. If you don’t have the ability to reward employees
monetarily there are certainly other effective ways.
personal note from you can make all the difference to an employee.
When an employee receives an email from you, or better yet a handwritten
note of appreciation, he or she will know you are paying attention to
their work and that you value their contribution.
recognize your employees’ contribution by putting him/her in the
spotlight. Perhaps an email to the department or mentioning a
particular employee’s outstanding efforts at your next staff meeting does
recognition – so you’ve just completed a harrowing week and everyone has
put in exceptionally long hours. Do you simply leave the office and
wish them a good weekend? How about a Friday afternoon pizza party
for the team…at your expense? Perhaps a note to the team praising
them for their accomplishment, and be sure to copy your boss.
Or how about distributing Starbucks gift cards? You get the idea.
There are numerous ways you can accomplish this.
– This can
take on several meanings. Firstly, you can educate an employee on what
he/she can do to improve themselves, but in such a way that they even thank you
for it. "John, I just have to say how happy I am with the way the data
warehousing project is coming along. It will certainly have a positive impact
on our P&L! For future reference, try inviting Tom from Finance, he
has some great ideas and unique ways of looking at data. It should yield
even better results for everybody.”
you don’t have the means to reward employees with money, then do so with
education. Employees place an incredible value on education, especially
if it yields a certification. The fact that you are spending resources on
their career speaks volumes about your concern for their advancement. At
a previous employer, I was able to create an education plan which encouraged
employees to take training classes and the corresponding exams (relevant to
their area of responsibility). In return, the employee agreed to formally
discuss and cross-train with the rest of the team and agreed to continue
employment with the company for at least another year. In this case,
everyone was a winner.
CIO – IAC