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Encouraging Productive Team Behavior

Encouraging Productive Team Behavior

Originally posted on the Productivity Pro website, excerpts below.

One of the best things about being a leader is being responsible for the productivity of an entire team. That’s also one of the scariest things about being a leader. Your team’s accomplishments (or lack thereof) reflect upon you, so you have to run a tight team. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to channel a military commander. My father, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, taught me that such behavior backfires as often as not. Oh, a tyrant definitely gets things done—but well-trained workers, like good jet pilots, have their own ideas about how to do their jobs. Unlike the military, your crew can just up and quit. While you don’t want them to perceive you as a pushover, your “fighter jocks” do need some leeway to do their jobs. You face a delicate balance here, so consider these factors while trying to achieve a healthy, productive equilibrium.

1. Keep Talking. Honest communication may not cure all ills, but it certainly promotes healthy teams. Express clearly what you expect in terms of behavior and hold your people to it. Meanwhile, listen to their ideas on how to better align team performance with corporate strategy.

2. Lead from the front. No one respects a leader who tells everyone to arrive by 8:00, then regularly shows up at 9:30. Nor will they bother to buckle down if you head for the golf course every afternoon. Lead by example.

3. React instantly. Never ignore unproductive behavior. As soon as such a pattern develops, step in and address it, no matter how busy you are.

4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. If you can’t appreciate what someone brings to the team, you shouldn’t have hired them. If you lose respect for them later, it’s best for you both to let them go. Strive to treat each person fairly, and keep this always in mind: reward publically, but criticize privately.

When you step up to leadership, you suddenly have at least partial responsibility for the fates of others; and to some extent, your employees control you as well, because their behavior reflects on you. So avoid micromanaging, but do encourage productive behavior from your employees at all times. Clearly outline what you expect of them, practice what you preach, and hold them to your expectations.

Click HERE to read the entire article from the Productivity Pro website.

John Lux
As COO of IDEAS, John manages the day-to-day operations of the company. He is a category expert in studio production and is responsible for bringing advanced digital media technology to IDEAS.