Teamwork

Early in my career, I had an opportunity to participate in the Leadership Robins Region program. This 9-month program was designed using the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute curriculum. 

The first session required an overnight stay at Robins Air Force Base in preparation for the group’s leadership orientation and subsequent ROPES activities the following morning. There were 25 people in the group, and I was only familiar with one of them.

The goal of the first session was to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the team, learn how to communicate concisely and listen actively, as well as understand how each team member contributes to accomplishing the team mission.

The pictures reveal the importance of effective communication, the value of teamwork, and developing trust. These are some of the ingredients of exemplary leadership.

Other lessons worth noting:

* You cannot hold someone accountable for something you failed to teach.
* Everyone is both a teacher and a learner.
* Leadership skills can always be improved.

This program provided me the platform to gain critical experiences and broaden my knowledge across various industries – which has been instrumental in my career progression.

Effective Management

Studies show that for every 0.1% improvement in effective management, productivity goes up by 10%. So, how can new managers lead their teams effectively? 

1. People Skills. Emotionally intelligent leaders practice self-awareness and excel at relationship management. This enables them to build a foundation of trust, respect, and positive attitudes among their team.

2. Listen First, Talk Later. On average, it takes new managers 4 to 6 weeks to get acclimated to their new role. Focus outward – paying attention to the team and process before coming up with ideas and changes you’d like implemented.

3. Communicate. Take the lead with introductions during the first few days, speaking to each team member individually and then everyone as a group. Find out what they do, what processes they say work well, and what they’d like to see improved.

4. Delegate. Solve the people, not the problem. Working together to come up with a way forward allows the team to become self-directed and much more engaged in their work.

5. What to Avoid. Being a manager isn’t a popularity contest. New managers tend to lower their standards to make friends with the staff. Manage results and relationships for both short-term and long-term success – keeping respect at the forefront.

Adapted: Kenosha News

Think Before You Speak

Effective communication can be a challenge even when clearly stated or written. Additionally, social media, text messaging, and email increase the likelihood of your words getting lost in translation. How you deliver your message is just as important as what you say if you expect others to respond constructively.

While it’s good to have something to say, it is equally important to weigh it first. When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that our perspective is far more important than theirs. In our hastiness to get our point across, we forfeit the opportunity to listen and learn. You are what comes out of your mouth, so be mindful of what you speak.

Growing Up Too Fast

Our social climate has changed tremendously over the years. No longer are the days of imaginative play or community discipline. Children are physically developing faster and exposed to more confusing messages than ever before. There is a certain amount of excitement that comes with being young, but this excitement can become a hindrance if focused only on passing pleasures.

With the overwhelming influences of today’s society, we must take extra care to teach our children to relish in their childhood. Once presented with adult responsibilities, they’ll be unable to go back and recapture the innocence of their youth.

Many parents want to make all the choices for their children, but this hurts them in the long run. You don’t have to monitor every step they take once you’ve taught them right from wrong. Stumbling blocks may be encountered, but keeping an open line of communication will allow you to steer your child down the appropriate path when necessary.