Whether you’re in a position of leadership at your job, on a team, sports, or in your life… Leaders give all of the credit of a win to their people; shining light on their effort and dedication to the process. Your people are important and will be monumental to the success of your organization or team; however, it’s up to you as a leader to set the expectations, standards, and process for winning. So, how do you do it?
In sports, there is a clear beginning and end to every season. What is “Success” and “winning”? For some leaders and teams, it may be winning half their games or beating their rival. While for others, it’s Championship or bust. In business, the season never stops! There are always projects going, a crisis to address, change, and other issues… daily! What’s “winning”? In life, some people’s definition of winning is how many degrees they have or how many letters behind their name they can acquire, the house they live in, the car they drive, the success of their kids, or perhaps a joyful marriage. Whatever your definition, as a leader… if you don’t know it, how can your people; leaving others to celebrate things important to them, but not the bigger picture and an agreed upon definition of a “Win”. Be a leader and lead by knowing… and sharing your definition of winning with your people; with expectations to strive for it daily!
Your ability to play great offense means you create great opportunity for your organization, team, and those around you. Leaders not only execute the plan, but also possess great vision. They see the gaps in the plan, the problem areas, and they fill it with suggestions, solutions, and great effort. Perhaps you use your superpower (the invaluable trait you have that makes you perfect for the position you possess) to fill that gap or put someone else with the necessary superpower in the right seat!
Great offense is also about creating great opportunity for those around you! By keeping your eyes and ears open, in your professional life and personal life, you will hear the needs of others that need to be filled. If you can fill it… awesome! If not… become a connector and refer people you know. No one forgets who brought opportunity their way and allowed them to use their superpower!
Great offense means you make yourself valuable and those around you better by knowing their superpower, putting them in position to use their superpower, taking advantage of opportunity, and creating opportunity!
A great offense without a great defense rarely reaps desired rewards. Leaders play great defense by protecting success and “Wins” from the bad habits of others and themselves. One of my keywords in defining leadership is “Protect”.
There will be times you must protect people from themselves and their bad habits and be willing to have tough conversations. That employee, co-worker, teammate, a family member that is throwing a monkey-wrench in the process. They’re habitually late, gossiping, unmotivated, unwilling, a short-cutter… the list can go on and on.
Other times, you may have to protect “Winning” and your people from you, your bad habits, and your mood. You know when you’re having a bad day, not in the mood, or have life-stuff going on… only to take it out on some undeserving soul at work, on your team, or in your home! Don’t worry… you’re human and it happens. What you do before and after can help!
Leaders are aware of their emotions, good and bad, before spilling them onto others. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean it’s the right time to say it. Here’s a rule I live by… If you do decide to stay it… is it more for YOU or for THEM? If it’s for you… perhaps you should wait; as your emotions are too involved and you are sharing to provide yourself a release. If it’s the latter… say it and out of concern for the mission, the vision, the win! Lastly, don’t be afraid to apologize for an emotional outburst. Some of the greatest leaders apologize for how they said it, not what they said!
Inspire & Motivate
Know what makes each person on your team click. This is the premise of my Leader’s 7; the 7 Languages your people need, want, and benefit most hearing from leadership. It also works the other way around; leaders also enjoy hearing their top two Languages from their people too!
Know what motivates and inspires your people and be willing to show or speak it to them. When everyone feels heard, validated, motivated, and a part of the team… it’s amazing what can happen! This does not mean everyone that starts with you will finish with you; as everyone is not ready to pay the price to achieve your definition of “Winning”. That has to be OK… now you know who you’re moving forward with and who will be allowed the freedom to be happy somewhere else!
Control the Ebb & Flow
There’s a natural ebb and flow to everything. It’s hard to go 100% full throttle all the time! Few can and we revere them… Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, just to name a few. If you are lucky enough to have someone like this on your team… that will pose a new challenge to your leadership; as they will expect more out of YOU!
Leaders know how to control the ebb and flow of the organization, the team, their family. When to loosen up, to have a sense of humor, do something out of the norm, and treat your people to something out of the norm! It’s harder to win when everyone is exhausted, tense, and on-edge. You must also know when to tighten the reigns… pulling structure, expectations, and “Winning” back to the forefront of their minds and daily action.
Enjoy your process and definition of “Winning” and being the leader you can be… and your organization, team, and people need you to be!
“Everyone that starts with you will not finish with you; as everyone is not ready to pay the price to achieve your or the group definition of “Winning” and that has to be OK” – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
Enhance Leadership and Work/Life Harmony in your Organization, your Leaders, Employees, and Teams with Andre Young’s Speaking Engagements, Evolve & Lead Training Programs (on-site, online, or virtual), and1-on-1 Growth Sessions! Find out more and connect at www.youevolvingnow.com