The best business leaders are those who constantly seek to improve by hearing the wisdom of others. As we’ve talked about this month, one of our business development gurus is Marcus Buckingham, author of First, Break All the Rules and researcher at Gallup. Buckingham’s bestselling book takes a deep look at the research to see what makes businesses thrive or fail.
Meet Your Workers’ Basic Needs
It can be easy to get wrapped up in new opportunities within your company for you and your team… so much so that many leaders forget about the essentials! While a new partnership or unique project is exciting, leaders shouldn’t forget about needs like understanding expectations, a healthy work environment, and an appreciation for the work being done. Without any of these things, leaders cannot expect the best from their learners. It would be like expecting a race car to compete in a championship without any gas!
Take inventory of where you are providing for your team and where you can improve. Start by asking your team to tell you more about their needs!
Draw Out What’s Left In
Leaders will drive themselves insane if they spend all their energy developing every single one of their workers. The hard truth is, no one has the ability to develop their entire team. Instead, Buckingham proposes that the best managers are the ones that pick and choose the best workers and put forth an effort to develop them. This doesn’t mean that the manager doesn’t care about the other workers; rather, developing the best workers will allow the others to learn from their example while not taking up the time of the manager.
When you spend more time with fewer people, you’re able to develop them further and get to know them better, ultimately making your business better while also leaving your workers satisfied.
Incompetence Isn’t Simple
When you finish First, Break All the Rules, you get the sense that Marcus Buckingham thinks that there isn’t such a thing as a bad worker. In some ways, he does! One of the main themes throughout the book is that a failure to do a job well is usually attributable to being in the wrong position. Instead of stretching your team to complete tasks outside of their skill set in order to try to “grow” them, maximize what they do well or switch them to a role where they can do what they do best.
Additionally, unhappy employees can be an indication that they need more connection with their peers or reason to believe in the work they’re doing.
First, Break All the Rules has so much to offer, including the tips we’ve talked about today. Take time to take an honest look at your business today, and remember to take a glance at these tips every once in a while to make sure your business is on track!