Tag: Initiative

The Importance of Initiative for Team Leaders

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Do you see yourself as an initiator? Are you consistently looking for opportunities or are you waiting for the opportunities to come to you? Team leaders need always to be looking for opportunities for their teams and should be ready to take action on those opportunities.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Qualities that Team Leaders Possess Which Enable Them to Take Initiative

They know what they want: Team leaders cannot be effective if they are indecisive. To be effective, team leaders need to know what they want. This is the only way to recognize opportunities when they present themselves.

They push themselves to act: Initiators do not wait for other people to motivate them. They take responsibility to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and make a habit of doing this. Initiators do the things that ought to be done, and when they make up their mind to do a thing they act on it.

They take more risks: Proactive team leaders take risks and they know there is a price to pay for not initiating. The risk of taking action is often less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

They make more mistakes: Team leaders who initiate make things happen but they inevitably also make a lot of errors. Even though they often fail they do not let it bother them. The greater the potential of the leader, the greater the chance of failure. If team leaders want to achieve great things they have to risk failing greatly. They must be willing to put themselves on the line.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Initiative

Change your mindset: If you feel that you lack initiative, it is essential to recognize that the problem comes from within and not from others. Ask yourself why you tend to hesitate. Does risk scare you? Are you discouraged by past failures? Do you tend to miss the potential that opportunities offer? Find the source of your hesitation and address it. You will not move forward on the outside until you move forward on the outside.

Do not wait for opportunity to knock: The truth is that opportunity seldom comes knocking on your door. You have to go out and look for opportunities. Get an idea of your potential by taking stock of your assets, talents and resources. Now spend every day of the week looking for opportunities. Where do you see needs? Who is looking for your expertise?

Take the next step: It is not enough to just see the opportunity; you have to do something about it. Pick the best opportunity you see and take it as far as you can. Do not stop until you have done everything you can to make it happen.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Showing Trust in Your Team of Leaders

The Importance of Showing Trust in Your Team of Leaders

Your team of leaders is made up out of individuals with unique traits and qualities. You should always remember that they made it onto your team for a reason. Trust that you have taught them well and rely on them to do a good job.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Do Not Micromanage

There is sometimes a thin line between assuring your team leaders do an excellent job and micromanaging them. You have to resist the temptation to check constantly in on them and offer your input randomly. Resist the temptation by trusting your leaders and their abilities. Allow your team leaders to seek accountability for their actions and own their responsibilities. Team leaders, usually, perform better when they feel in charge and do not feel as though you are breathing down their neck.

You can take the following steps to ensure that you do not have to micromanage your leaders:

  • Make your team leaders accountable
  • Hire the right people from the start
  • Clearly outline your expectations of your leaders

Communication

It is essential to promote open and honest communication among your team leaders. Allow everyone to give their input, be responsive to your leaders and support feedback from others. Open and honest communication builds respect among the team and helps build trust.

Tips for enhancing open and honest communication:

  • Have an open door policy
  • Ask questions frequently
  • Give everyone a chance to speak

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Encourage Initiative

Always look for an opportunity to reward and encourage initiative among your team leaders. Reward your team leaders when they take on more initiative. Rewards can include recognition, gifts or promotions.  A team leader that feels rewarded for their hard work are more likely to take pride in their work and continue doing a good job. Remember to recognize the initiative itself, and not just the outcome.

Trust the Leaders, but Verify the Work

You can’t always assume the job is done right. There are times when work needs to be verified or reviewed. This should not be done through micromanaging, but involves periodic steps of checking in or verifying the leader’s work.  Verifying can be done by asking the team leader to send you an email when they are finished with a certain task. You can also set yourself reminders to speak with the team leader in person to check on the progress. By taking a few minutes to look over any project periodically, you can save everyone a lot of time and man hours in the event that something needs to be corrected.

Image Source: Anita Nowack

 

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