Peter Cullen is currently the author of the Career Doctor articles appearing in the Institute of Managers and Leaders publication named Leadership Matters. The columns on this page have appeared in Leadership Matters. Peter also wrote a weekly column on Workplace Behaviour for the Courier Mail in Queensland. The ebook containing the Courier Mail articles is a free download.

Having a Clear Plan for Leading Your team

How do I ensure I have a clear plan for leading my team in 2016?

Is this year going to be your year? Are you ready to be committed and determined to make it so? What are you prepared to do as a leader and manager to make it happen?

If you want to get serious and truly make a difference to your life you have to also consider your direct reports and the people you report to. Here are 7 key points that will make a difference. 

  1. Courage is often needed when we have tough conversations with individual team members, the whole team or the person we report to. Getting your team together to talk about the year ahead, the goals to be achieved and how we are going meet them can be one of these tough conversations. Try letting go of the reigns and hand it over to the team to work it out within a specified time frame. Your involvement may be simply to provide direction when needed. They create ownership, responsibility and accountability.
  2. Personal values of each person in the team (including you) may be very different. Recognising, and supporting each person’s values provides a great foundation for mutual respect, cohesion and collaboration. Take this a step further with your team and jointly agree on team values and behaviours. It is preferable to have these inline with the company’s values.
  3. Trust is a rare commodity that is hard earned and easily lost. What do you do to be worthy of the trust of the people in your team. Are you open with your communication, honest in what you say and do, loyal to the team and company, back your people, knowledgeable with experience to reflect credibility, do as you say and are committed to your role? I am sure you can find a few more to add.
  4. Communication is one of the key attributes of any great leader and manager. Clear explanations help people to understand the why when things happen on a large and small scale. When people understand the why they normally feel more accepting, inclusive and purposeful in their role. 
  5. Authenticity is your capacity to be genuine and sincere. To show who you really are in all your actions. To know and understand your strengths and frailties. To not hide behind others or display what you believe to be behaviours others want to see. 
  6. It is not about you it is about the people in your team. Their performance as a cohesive unit will indirectly reflect on you and your capabilities. Praise your team for their achievements, talk with them about their trouble spots and let others know how much your team has achieved and how proud you are of them, to others,
  7. Planning for the coming year is more than budgets, resources and KPI’s. It should include how you and your team plan to achieve them and team cohesion. Make sure they are all included, contribute and are recognised for the outcome.

A real leader empowers the team to lead themselves and gives them all the credit for what is achieved.