What’s good for the leader is good for the team. A strong leader with weak team, just as a strong team with a weak leader are destined for failure. If the goals and direction are not clear, if the team is not focused and putting sufficient effort towards the goal, it won’t be attained. I was only as good as the teams I managed, and I’d like to think I helped some of them grow. I’ve been very fortunate to have some Superstars and strong players on my teams, but I’ve also had some that did not succeed.
Here’s a list that is not only from a leader’s perspective, but also considers the traits I observed in my Superstars. (You know who you are, too!) Again, I invite your feedback.
I. THOU SHALT GIVE THY BEST EFFORT EVERY DAY – Come to play every day. You owe your employer, your manager and most importantly YOURSELF your complete commitment and focused effort. You will never know what you are capable of if you give less than your best.
II. THOU SHALT LEAVE THINE EGO IN THE PARKING LOT – It’s not about YOU. Your company has its goals, which your manager owns a small piece of and gives you your share. The Big Shots (C-Level leaders) speak the language of RESULTS. That’s what matters to them and drama gets in the way of driving results.
III. LISTEN AND LEARN – Part of your commitment is to continue to learn and grow professionally. You do that by listening to yourself, your teammates and your manager (remember, your manager has a responsibility to support and foster your growth).
IV. THOU SHALT SPEAK – Don’t sit silently in a team meeting. Contribute and share your observations. Pay attention to the Second Commandment and share your challenges. Problems will persist if you keep them to yourself. Throw it out there, put some groupthink against it and develop solutions.
V. THOU SHALT SHARE – Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas. Don’t keep yours to yourself; share them. Being a contributing teammate is just like networking – it’s what you GIVE to your network that determines what you GET from it.
VI. STAY OPEN FOR BUSINESS – Remain open-minded (Second Commandment) to coaching from your manager, ideas your teammates may share or for things you hear or read. (Seventh Commandment) If you allow yourself to feel threatened by any of this, you close yourself off to learning and may be driving your career off a cliff.
VII. INVEST IN YOURSELF – Don’t rely on your job, manager and teammates for your professional development. Opportunities for learning are EVERYWHERE – blogs, LinkedIn Groups, and limitless websites and e-zines. Commit yourself to continuous learning and you’ll accelerate your professional development, success and earnings.
VII. WATCH YOUR METRICS – Don’t be dismissive about your activity, goal or other metrics. You may not be ready to embrace them, but accept and understand them as the diagnostic tools they are. Your manager should help you to analyze them and what actions to take to move the needle in the right direction.
IX. CHEER AND BE HUMBLE – Celebrate and praise the victories of your teammates, and accept their praise gracefully. Take your Victory Lap in private, especially if you’re near the top of the stack rank. Lifting others when they are down will be rewarded with loyalty and returned support when you need it. And you will.
X. LIFE MATTERS MORE – In the end, a job is a job – a means to support the life you want to live. If ever the job is negatively impacting that life, or fails to support it; you should consider a change. Whether a change of job or field, don’t settle for the status quo. You only get one life and you deserve to be happy in it.