How Do 4-Star Generals Create Amazing Teams?

by blogadmin 15. March 2018 02:26

Our U.S. military is known for generating extrordinary leaders through values, team work, and communication. What methods can we glean from these principles ot make our own teams stronger? How can we create high-performing leaders that work together?

Retired General Ann E. Dunwoody is the first woman in the U.S. military to have achieved the rank of 4-star general, which she received in 2008 as a member of the U.S. Army. In her last assignment, she led the largest global logistics command in the Army: over 69,000 military and civilian personnel in over 140 countries with a budget of 60 billion dollars. Today, she leads and serves on the boards of several communications, logistics, and mentoring firms. Kevin Kruse of Forbes recently sat down with Gen. Dunwoody where she gave her best advice for leaders and how to hold people accountable. 

WHAT LEADERSHIP ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A MANAGER?

No matter what level you are, make every person on your team count. Everybody has something to contribute. And if you can bring the best out in each of your team members then you're going to have a great team, but that also requires you to reward good behavior. So, when you have those people who are exceeding the standards and doing a great job for your team, that you acknowledge that, that you pat them on the back, you shake their hand, you give them the t-shirt, you give them the bonus, whatever.

And, likewise, the harder part of that equation is when you have people that aren't meeting the standard, who are dragging the team down, you have to deal with them as well. Either corrective mentoring, counseling, or try to get them on board, or something to make sure they don't drag the team down.

And, I believe this, people want to be a part of a high performing organization. They want to make a difference, but they want to be appreciated. And so, when you recognize those people are going to get on that side of the team, they want to be part of those who are getting the handshake, no one wants to be told they are not doing well. So, in my experience, that's how you build high performing organizations from the smallest team to the highest level.

So, reward the good performance, take care of the ones not carrying their load, and you will create amazing teams. For more quality advice, read her latest book, A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female 4-Star General.

Valuable Leaders Share Knowledge - Rhoda Kreuzer

by blogadmin 16. November 2017 03:44

Be generous with your knowledge, and seek opportunities to help people grow.

As others begin to recognize your unique, valuable expertise, they'll naturally want to tap into it. Equally, you'll spot opportunities to support them that they may not even be aware of. Your expert power can help to enable co-workers to develop their own skills, so that they can progress in their roles, as you have in yours.

Using your expertise in this way needn't threaten your position. The more you invest in helping people around you, the more your professional value will grow and the more powerful your position can become. You can also test your own skills, identify gaps in your knowledge, and continue to learn by growing and engaging with this development network. 

For more on building expert power, click here

Personal Challenge:

-Do you have a firm grasp of essential up-to-date facts and figures? 

-Do you avoid making comments about subjects that you are poorly informed on? 

-Are you sensitive to other's feelings? 

-How can you build and share your expertise appropriately so that others naturally look to you for direction? 

Are You Fighting Fires or Tending To Your Garden?

by blogadmin 10. November 2017 02:23

How many disasters have you dealt with this week? How many relationships had to be rescued? Who had to redo their work, explain numbers, or cut corners?

Leaders and professionals, ask yourself this: Are you nearing or at a point where firefighting is standard operating procedure? If so, things were not done right the first time around. Too often, businesses get stuck in the vicious cycle of rework, shortcuts, and lengthened deadlines. This puts them at risk for stressed-out employees, customer problems, a damaged brand, and ethics issues. How then do we change our leadership and working style from the on-edge firefighter to that of the happy gardener?
 
The happy gardener has done his or her best to nurture their plants the minute the seed was placed in the ground. Careful watering, weeding, pruning, and cultivating leads to fruit, flowers, and a lush garden. In the same way, high producing and results oriented employees thrive when nurtured by great leaders and fellow team members. Just as in a seed, there is great potential inside of everyone, and great leaders help bring it out in 4 ways according to Terry Lee: training, connecting, challenging, and coaching.
 
1. TRAINING
 Great leaders know that effective training is how to marry existing knowledge with the strategy of a company. Working with team members to identify what training is going to position them to be most successful now and in the future is crucial. Prior to training, leaders should sit down with team members to discuss goals, expectations, and takeaways from the training. Upon finishing, leaders should again meet with team members to implement action planning while the information is still fresh. Post training meetings turn ideas into action.
 
2.  CONNECTING
Helping team members connect the dots in another action of great leaders. Help others to understand why each area or department is extremely important to the mission of the company. Great leaders understand the whole mission and are adept at articulating that message in a consistent, authentic, and relative manner. 
 
3.  CHALLENGING
Extrinsic motivation - public praise, more money, and prizes aren't enough to motivate team members. Intrinsic motivation - purpose, autonomy, and mastery are just as important. Mastery implies the opportunity to really get good at something. In order to be really good at something, you must be presented with challenges that excite you to find the solution. And, solutions satisfy purpose.
 
4.  COACHING
When faced with challenges, it's good to have a good "guide on the side" to help you through. Great leaders, helpful colleagues, and insightful coaches meet you where are. They help you identify what options you may have to reach goals and then sets appropriate challenges to lead you to that success.
 
So, to help your company sustain focus and build for the long-term, the firefighting leader, instead of being an impulsive judge, will become more like a gardener, counseling, guiding, and connecting with team members on a day-to-day basis, learning from them and with them.
 
Personal Application:
-Have you defined clearly to your team members what you are promising to deliver to your customers, so they know what they should strive to deliver?
-How often do you come up with poorly thought out quick fixes that consume time, leave less time for core work, and cause confusion about expectations?
-What steps can you take today to train, guide, and nurture rather than judge, add checkpoints, or escalate issues?

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