This weekend Neil Killick tweeted the below tweet, which really resonated with me and I wanted to spend some time in a blog post to discuss in greater detail.
One of the most common responses to my retweet was: “It may be simple, but it’s not easy to achieve” or “It may be simple but it’s hard for me to do it”. I wanted to break down each point and discuss how you can achieve it in your daily work.
- Hire smart, motivated people
- The hiring process for your teams/organisation should not just tick boxes but reflect the ethos and attitude that you have within your teams and projects. One of the most successful managers I know threw out all of the standard interview questions and instead focused on the person behind the skills.
- Tell them what needs to be achieved, not what you want them to do
- When I was working on projects at school, my mum often used to say: “There is more than one way to skin a cat” as I often struggled with being forced to work in one standard manner when I could see other potential methods of getting the job done. Now, I remember this as giving the team the opportunity to look at the end goal and come up with the best way to get there, after all, they are the experts in being able to deliver the end goal.
- Provide the tools, support and space that they require
- During the various speaking engagements and webinars that I present, I often try to reiterate that no matter what methodology you use, you need to make sure that your team has everything they need to be a success. This means that they’ve got the equipment, tooling, working space and ability to be able to work. I have seen great teams fail because they have been denied any of these options so I think it’s a really important foundation for success.
- If you’re struggling with this point, I’d recommend getting your sponsor onboard to help you petition to get the additional budget required for any of these items.
- Step forward when they need you to, otherwise stand back
- For me, this step is one of the most empowering areas of leadership. Letting your team take those steps and them knowing that you’ve got their back if they need it. It’s definitely hard though! I equate it to a parent helping their child ride a bike and sometimes needing to let them fail to be a longer term success.
- If you struggle with this, you could ask your team the simple question: What do you need? can I help? If they say nothing/no, then just take a step back and give them the room to work and succeed.
- Be patient
- ‘Rome was not built in a day‘ and this is also the case for project and team success. Let them work, continue to support them achieve the goals and do not criticise unnecessarily and you can really achieve success and your end goals
- Watch the magic happen
- What is Magic? For me, it’s not just about delivering the end objective. It’s that feeling and mood in the team/project when everything is buzzing along. Everyone is busy, you can see the team help each other and step up when another team member needs it. It’s that facilitation of the magic that can really help everyone in the long run.
What do you count as magic? What is important for you for helping your team deliver success?
This tweet was from someone that works in an Agile environment but I would say that the items mentioned can work for any leader, working in any environment or methodology.