Managing Teams – The Biggest Challenge Faced by Leaders

In my 25+ years of experience and having trained thousands of leaders, I have found that managing teams is one of the biggest challenges they face. Many leaders struggle with getting their team members to perform to the best of their ability.

So, why is this the case? From what I’ve observed, many leaders get promoted without any prior experience in leading people. They assume that the necessary leadership skills will just come naturally with the promotion. Often, these leaders were previously team member who were excellent at customer service, sales, or being organised, which led to their promotion. However, things can fall apart when they are required to give direction and instructions to their former team members. Some new leaders may come on too strong, while others may be too soft, both resulting in the wrong outcomes.

In light of this, I’d like to share five tips from a successful CEO, Jack Welch of GE fame, that can help both new and seasoned leaders:

1. Invest in developing your people: You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Surround yourself with great people and be a generous leader who loves to see people grow and prosper.

2. Don’t reward people who have great results but bad behaviour: The negative impact of a selfish person on a team exceeds the positive impact of a generous person. Focus on getting the right people on the bus and the wrong ones off.

3. Provide meaning: Ensure that your team understands what they are part of and why. When team members know that their work has meaning, their productivity increases significantly.

4. Let your team know where they stand: Many leaders leave their team in the dark about their performance. Great leaders give feedback that is specific and focuses on the behaviours that work, so team members can repeat them. Or they identify the behaviours that are desired and help the team member to put these in place. Research has shown that over a third of feedback conversations made performance worse rather than better.

5. Give people the confidence to try new things: As a leader, have high expectations for your team and look for the potential in team members that they may not see in themselves.

These five tips offer valuable lessons and are areas all leaders have to work on daily to get the best out of their teams.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.