27 September 2023

Sharing the caring: How well-run teams have leaders who care

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John Eades* says a few well-chosen words, used often, can be the difference between being an average, and a great leader.

There aren’t many managers that say being a leader is simple.

It makes a lot of sense because there are so many important things for which they are responsible.

It begins with building great relationships, connecting their team to a deep purpose.

It continues with having a vision, setting clear standards, holding others accountable, and being a strong coach, just to name a few.

Even though leadership isn’t easy, managers often have to remember one important lesson.

In a recent book, Trillion Dollar Coach about Bill Campbell, a Silicon Valley executive, co-author Eric Schmidt wrote this lesson he learned from Campbell:

‘Your title makes you a manager; your people make you a leader.’

An intense focus on your people will make all the difference.

One of the best ways to show your people they are appreciated is through your words.

Here are some things your team needs to hear from you to make it a reality.

Thank you:

The simplest thing you can do is say thank you often.

Thank you has become something we say as a reflex versus really meaning it.

Make your thank you specific to team members who meet the standards you have set.

When you do it will be much more powerful.

It can be done in a variety of ways such as a handwritten note, in person or even over text.

The thought you put into your thank you will say more than the two words alone.

I appreciate you:

People have three basic needs, they need to feel liked, important and appreciated.

Bill Campbell knew this and would tell his mentees: “Everyone is human and wants to feel appreciated. It’s not always for the money it’s about the love.”

So often we assume people know how we feel, but actually saying ‘I appreciate you’ will ensure people know.

Your effort didn’t go unnoticed:

The amount of work each team member puts in on a daily basis feels like it’s double over just 10 years ago.

Your team is doing the work and putting in effort that most people aren’t willing to put in.

They get to the office early, leave late, and blend work-life balance that goes well beyond what most people think is acceptable.

This can’t go seemingly unnoticed or unrecognised.

Take the time to notice their effort and actions.

Your words are not only powerful but needed.

You will be shocked at how this simple phrase makes your people feel good.

You are the glue that makes our team effective:

There are ‘stars’ of the team and there are the people that make the team work.

Often we reward those whose behaviour directly ties to success for the organisation.

We make a huge deal if a new product is created, but we often forget the people behind the scenes.

It could be an assistant, a reserve bench player, an operations person, or someone in HR.

There are so many people that keep your team running and effective.

Use the powerful words above to let people on the front lines know you care and value them.

Without you, we would be a fraction of what we are with you:

People often look for greener pastures simply because they don’t understand how important they are to the team.

By telling someone that you wouldn’t be what you are today (or what you will be in the future) without them is a huge confidence boost.

It will keep them from taking those all-too-often calls from recruiters.

Remind yourself of these basic phrases and it will go a long way on your journey to become more than just a manager.

*John Eades is the Chief Executive of LearnLoft and author of F.M.L. Standing Out and Being a Leader. He is also the host of the Follow My Lead Podcast. He can be followed on instagram @johngeades.

This article first appeared on John’s LearnLoft blog.

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