It is not the tools

Some managers obsess about finding the right tools for their teams, not realizing they are the tool their teams need.

Leadership is the best tool you can use to support your team in accomplishing amazing things.

As a leader, you are committed to your people.
You build trust.
You listen attentive.
You communicate clearly.
You prepare for team meetings.
You prepare even more for 1:1 meetings.
You are kind.
You hold them accountable.
You support their growth.

Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”

—John C. Maxwell

A great leader develops influence with those above them, beside them and below them. One of the reasons they are effective is because they invest in others as well as themselves. Effective leadership (like the one that really makes a difference in their teams and companies) is based on personal development (key word: personal), which starts with the leaders pushing to reach their potential every day and having a coach to hold them accountable to expand their growth, so they can do the same for their people.

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Leaders get the team they deserve.

I was talking to a leader this week about starting in a new role and how they were winning over their new team. It all sounded like it was going to plan until she explained an exercise where her team were all given a task and a deadline. The outcome was that only 50% of the team completed the task on time and only one person completed the task successfully and on time. What did you do? I asked. “Oh I just moved the deadline and gave them some extra time to complete the task” she said. Warning! This is dangerous ground for any leader and especially for a new leader. It speaks volumes about the teams understanding (or lack of) accountability and also could be the beginning of the end, in terms of gaining respect for their leader. —Nicole Underwood, Leaders get the team they deserve…4 ways to gain respect quickly.

Throughout my 15+ years of experience in the Human Resources world, and now focusing even more on coaching leaders, I have seen a decent amount of budget go towards “tools” for the teams, while the leaders do nothing to work on themselves. The results? Nothing really changes.

I’m currently reading “Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell” by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle. This was a recommendation from one of the leaders I currently support (insert celebration dance here). If you are interested in becoming a great leader, I invite you to check it out.


― Eric Schmidt, Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell.