High Performing Teams: 3 Lessons Learned from Working to Improve Results in the Real World

I asked a management team two questions to help them reflect on lessons learned from managing new teams. It might help you to know that their facility opened about 9 months ago.

  1. Tell me about a win. (Get people thinking about what’s working.)
  2. With your wins in mind, what are you learning about managing teams successfully?
Sad puppy.

Successful managers energize people. Lousy managers are leeches.

3 Lessons Learned from Working to Improve Team Results

Lesson 1: Fuel positive energy.

Successful managers give energy. Lousy managers are energy leeches.

Things that drain teams:

  1. Lack of focus.
  2. Constant criticism.
  3. Disrespect.

Always begin the day on a positive note. One manager said, “Set the tone. Don’t use the morning huddle as a downer. Begin with recognition.”

Read: Positively Energizing Leadership

Lesson 2: Choose how you show up.

Successful managers have a model in their heads that guides their behaviors. You might show up as an orchestra conductor or the coach of a sports team. You might choose a shepherd metaphor to guide your behaviors.

One manager chooses his inner uncle as a guide. He interacts with people as if they were his favorite nephew. “Be the uncle, not the disciplinarian.”

See: The Power of Talking to Big People like they’re Children

Lesson 3: Work to become dispensable.

One manger said, “I’m working to create an environment where I’m not needed.”

Lousy managers make themselves necessary. Successful managers make themselves unnecessary.

The indispensable manager is frustrated and exhausted.

Indispensable managers:

  1. Get involved in everything.
  2. Solve problems for people instead of with people.
  3. Jump on every issue as if it’s the most important issue.
  4. Allow minor concerns to interrupt important work.

Learn to be dispensable by noticing what happens when you’re on vacation. How do you prepare? Who steps up?

With your wins in mind, what are you learning about leading teams well?