Leaders Must Know What Their Teammates Need From Them
For about a year, I have been privileged to serve as a member of a Montgomery County Advisory Board.
This week I was invited to attend a focus group organized by an experienced professional whose agency works with members of our board. This weekly group was created to allow this person’s colleagues to express their concerns, fears and desires in a “safe space.” While attendance was modest, the discussion was thoughtful, spirited, and passionate.
As the conversation proceeded, a question rose to the fore: What do these professionals need from their leaders to be able to perform their jobs well?
As I listened to the attendees respond to this question, I had an “aha moment.” I realized that the items these professionals were asking for from their leaders were things that teammates regularly asked me about for three decades at Georgetown Law CLE.
As leaders, we must be willing to listen to our team members. We must be responsive to their needs. We must provide them with what they need to perform their jobs well. So peruse this list constructed by my new friends serving Montgomery County and ask yourself if you are furnishing these things to your team:
-A list of resources they can use for different aspects of their jobs
-For those “smarter than me,” to BE smarter than me when the time comes to show it
-Permission to do their job efficiently
-Support team members personally and professionally
-Holding other people accountable to do THEIR jobs
-Honest feedback and constructive criticism
-Being really heard, not just listened to
-Adequate time to get the different components of the job done
-A healthy dose of leadership common sense
-Understanding people’s workloads
-Sufficient funding to get the work done well and on time
-Adherence to common values
-Transparency – not avoiding the tough conversations
-Selflessness – remembering “it’s not about you, it’s about us”
How are you doing in paying attention to these core leadership attributes or skills?
They do not apply to only professionals serving Montgomery County, Maryland.
They apply to all of us who strive to fulfill our leadership potential.