3 Things Your Team Needs From You Right Now
by Aaron J. Henninger
1. A Voice
A true and authentic opportunity to share ideas, the possibility to challenge preconceived notions and an ability to contribute beyond the recitation of rote tasks—all without the fear of ostracism or punishment. Our silo mentality of organizational charts and lines of operation across business units pigeon holes expertise and perspectives. Having a voice means much more than allowing team members to speak, it requires earnest listening and the assigning of real meaning and value to those sentiments that are expressed.
2. Clear Direction
This is more than a mission statement. It is more than the end state. It is a shared roadmap of how each individual contributes to the team, how the team contributes to the broader organization and how that organization functions in broader society. This is not a one time effort. This requires persistent rigor of thought and a mutuality of execution. Direction is challenged daily by both internal and external variables. There must firmness in overall focus, yet flexibility in everyday execution. The direction should be set not only by the de facto leader, but by the entire team to facilitate buy in and ownership. Once this direction has been set, it is crucial to relentlessly reinforce the shared value and ownership through team dialogue.
3. A Home
A safe place. An environment in which to flourish. A place to delve in whole heartedly beyond the job function into the team mission. This requires advocacy, mentorship, fairness, and opportunity. An organization today represents much more than just a career, it is a personal statement and employee makes regarding their values, their hopes, their identity and their aspirations. Organizations that seek to excel and innovate should acknowledge this yearning. Facilitating meaningful participation and commitment is an organic endeavor. It requires nurturing and genuine commitment to the people that make up the overall team. A home provides shelter, community, as well as a space to grow within and return to. It is where we are able to be our true self.