One of the greatest challenges of a leader is building a highly motivated and performing team. In my last column I wrote about my plan to clarify roles and responsibilities. In the past few weeks, I have been reviewing current job descriptions (JD) to align them with the intent of the team structure.
In a new team, the level of uncertainty and anxiety is very high. I have been amazed how members of the team who had been in the organisation for many years were indicating lack of clarity on what they are meant to be doing. This have been for a variety of reasons including lack of consistency in delivering on the role, meeting the expectations of other stakeholders outside the responsibility of the role and - in my view - doing what comes easy to them rather than what they were meant to be doing.
Unfortunately, this lack of clarity is not only within the team, most of our business partners were also saying that they were not clear on who was doing what in my team. As I work on the individual JDs, I was also having to do a high level roles and responsibilities documentation to share with key stakeholders.
The first draft JDs have been sent to the individual staff for input; next would be to review input, finalize and communicate the final drafts to them. I'm hoping this process would go smoothly since there are no major changes but ensuring that the intent of the team is duly reflected in the JDs.
This brings me to my second point; building relationships with your key stakeholders or business partners. I had to meet with other team leaders to discuss the new team; explain the intent of the structure, who will be doing what in the team and also get their input on how the teams could work more productively together. This process has been quite interesting for me. I get to see other leaders' style. There were some who were very encouraging and positive and others who were so self-centered I'm giving this a new leadership style - Self-Interest Leadership (of course). The latter set were more interested in pointing out how they might end up not being supported by the new team because they were not given dedicated people to do things for them.
I managed to be professional; encouraging a joint approach to identifying any gaps and coming up with solutions. And this was just the beginning! The success of a team is also dependent on the success of the relationships with other teams. Influencing skills will be needed here!
I have also finalized the recruitment of the last member of my team. She will be starting in the New Year...yippee!!
To recap lesson 4: if you've inherited staff into a new team, update job descriptions to align with your new team structure and ensure roles and responsibilities are clear; share these with key stakeholders and start building relationships. If needs be get some training on Influencing skills.
Wishing you all a wonder-filled and exciting leadership experience in 2015. I am looking forward to it.