As a leader, sometimes you need to make hard decisions. One of those is to constantly make sure that you’re surrounded by only the best.
It’s not often that I use the word ‘ruthless’, but in this context I love the word. I think it is appropriately direct.
Why do I love it? Because as a leader, your primary role, priority and function is to find, develop and retain talented people. Your best asset? The people around you. Your key to success? The people around you. The biggest risk of the team or business failing? Yep, the people in the team.
This is the hard reality of being a leader. To lead, to inspire, to create an environment where talented people can flourish, is what you are there to do. And doing this requires tough calls from time to time.
If you have a dysfunctional team, it is because you have allowed it.
If you have team members not pulling their weight and causing resentment and stress, it’s because you have allowed it.
If you don’t have the right people in your team, it’s because you have allowed it.
And finally, if you lose talented people to other organisations - then, I hate to say it, it’s often because of something in the environment, culture or team fit that you, as the leader has allowed to go unchecked. Talented people will always back themselves to find another job.
I know this is direct. You may think it is a little harsh. But this is one of the core tenets of leadership.
You have to make the tough calls about the people you allow into your team, those who are the right fit, and those who need to move on .
Here is my personal learning. I see the potential in everyone. I will do everything I can to make someone successful. The hard lesson I have learnt as a leader, is that by carrying a member of the team who either doesn’t do their job, or isn’t a fit on culture or values, is terrible for the culture, performance and well-being of the team.
I still find this hard. I still want to believe that I can make anyone successful, if only I give them one more opportunity, or more time, or another chance.
The fact is, that you absolutely should do that. For a period of time. Not forever.
You owe it to the team as a whole to make sure that everyone is clear on their roles, what the expectations are, and to hold people accountable.
This is probably the most important insight of all. If you :
- Set a clear vision;
- Define what success looks like;
- Clearly define and understand that your role as a leader is not to control the micro, but to set the vision, define success, and create the environment;
- Create a team that plays to the strengths of the individuals to make the team more powerful as a whole;
- Create an environment where talent is attracted, and can flourish;
- Be self -aware enough to look after yourself, and remain cognisant of the impact your behavior and reactions have on those around you;
- Set standards of behaviour and accountability that you uphold, and
- Treat your hiring decisions as the most important decision you will ever make…
…then you are well on your way to becoming an extraordinary leader of an extraordinary team.
If you need help:
• Building an extraordinary team;
• Knowing when and how to make the tough calls; or
• Finding, developing and retaining talented people
Click here to book in a free 15 minute Discovery Call with me!
PS, if you have a burning question or a problem that needs a solution, contact us with the details and we will be in touch. Every fortnight we will answer a question for a reader as part of our case study series. Contact Ros at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be in touch!