March 31, 2016


A 5-step game plan for better leadership

Now that you’ve called a time-out in your day to read this, here’s how you can single-handedly make your team better. Let’s get started.

1. 1. Celebrate!

Create a culture of celebrating the human spirit!. Positively reinforce the new performance behaviors that will get your team where it needs to go.

Start every meeting positively by placing “Celebration” at the top of the agenda and deliver shout-outs to individuals and teams that are leading the way to your collective goals.

Express your gratitude. Say, “Thank you” and pair it with feedback. Be specific in your praise; deliver the “why” behind the “what”.

You might even consider celebrating failure and the valuable lessons learned; it will yield a positive and sustaining impact.

2. Embrace failure

Socialize failure as a component of success. Don’t expect it, but when it does happen, embrace it openly. Failure brings with it valuable lessons that allow your team to pivot appropriately to get where they want to go more often.

Consider this quote from an NBA player:

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

His name is Michael Jordan. First, focus your teams on taking the shot. Then, focus on the shot going in.

3. Shut up and LISTEN

It’s not about you; it’s about the audiences that you serve. Yield the floor to others as often as you can—then sit back and listen. Your engagement is far more important than the message. When you actively listen and engage others you become more genuine, trusting, and approachable.

Never be too busy to listen. When someone approaches you, put down your work, put your phone away, and be present with them. I guarantee they’ll be grateful.

Want to try an experiment? Ask some of your teammates how you can elevate your leadership style, and then shut up and listen.

4. Experiment

Try something new to show your team that you’re willing to take a chance and innovate. Ask them to participate and make sure to get their feedback.

When others see you focusing on “taking the shot” without fear of missing, they’ll take their own shots more often. This is where your organization gains momentum toward a culture of innovation.

By experimenting, your lead will empower and enroll your team - at all levels - to do the same. This is where you gain the critical mass to accelerate your team’s innovative efforts.

5. Get out of your office!

Go to where the work is done and hang out with the people that do the work. When you go to them, they’ll notice and remember your effort. Ask about their weekends and families. Or how things are on their teams. Offer your services as a mentor if it makes sense. If you work on crafting relationships with them, they’ll craft a relationship with you.

Start making yourself a better leader today—get out there and take your shot!

For the win,

We make your best better.