Transformational Leadership

How to Activate your Team

Karen Kay asked:

I Heard a new twist on this term recently. Maybe my head’s been in the sand, but I had never heard the word “activate” in regard to a person. I love it! Light bulbs went off big time for this in relation to my team building site. Here’s the thing:

Members of your team do not automatically earn the role of team “player” until they are “activated”. Do you do this? Or do they need to do it?….the answer is…………

Well, either, or both. It is the rare bird who flies in to the new nest already knowing all the moves, the entire routine, the roles and where he fits in to the game. For those that do, consider yourself activated and read no further.

Now, for the rest of us……

As your leader, it is his responsibility to “activate” you. Now if you happen to be the leader, really get this: Activate Your Team!

How so? you may ask? Let me count the ways…..

1. Empower! Who makes your team work? Every single member, right down to the newbie. Better be sure everyone knows they are equally important to the team, and that you totally need their participation. Everybody likes to be needed. Leave no one in the dust. All aboard and present and accounted for!

2.Delegate! You’re darn tootin’! What’s the point of a team if you have to do everything yourself? What do you abhor? Chances are somebody probably actually enjoys that very thing. Does it need to be done and you don’t have the time? Can you say “Leverage”?

3. Ask! How in tarnation you gonna know what to delegate to whom if you don’t have a clue who can do what? Get to know your players and ask them what they are good at, what they like to do. Ask about the family, their passion, hobbies, interests, everything. Your team is not about clones of you. Each member has their own strengths. Find out what they are.

4. Listen! Maybe not so obvious. You ask, and listen. No lectures needed. Just listen. Might not have to ask but one question, if you listen right. People like to talk about themselves. Let them.

5. Give! Don’t give away the farm, mind you, but give a little bit. Something you have, that may be invaluable to someone else. Your time, your talent, your attention, your knowledge, whatever you have, give them something.

6. Receive! It’s hard, I know, to accept gifts if you are the leader, but sometimes the best gift you can give is to accept the generosity of another. A gift given from the heart and well received makes a bond twice as strong.

7. Avail! Just be there. Contact information, office hours, meeting night, be there. If You want to activate them, they must see the active in you.

8. Lead! Yes, leverage, yes, delegate, but still, lead. Show off your talents. You are the leader for a reason. Be the one to emulate. Mentor.

9. Grunt! Who says you don’t have to get down and dirty just because you’re ahead of the pack? Sometimes it takes all hands. Roll up your sleeves and stand side by side with the rest of ’em. Don’t be afraid to take your ego down a notch or two if you have to. You become a peer, you get less sneers.

10. Reward! Hey there…got a good apple? By golly let ’em know it! Shower your people for all they do right, and they will do right again and again. Put ’em on a pedestal if they deserve it. Let the best be the new leaders. You got a good thing goin’ and that team’s rockin without you, it’s time to go start a new team! That one is now fully “activated”.

A little preventive maintenance and a quick review of these steps occasionally, and they are off and running and running and running…..

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