Managers are the key to successful organizations.  Becoming a great manager and leader is a process.  Steven Covey talks about the Whole-Person Paradigm in Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results.  He states that great leaders see people as whole--body, heart, mind and spirit--and work to unleash their full creative potential.

Employees are the most critical asset a company has.  A manager is the conduit between the individual employee, their goals and desires and the goals of the business.  Managers are the BRIDGE.

The six fundamental steps that enables a leader to take their team to the next level are:
  1. Building the foundation.  Defining and communicating the mission, vision and values of the organization.  It is critical that everyone is on the same page and understands the end goal.
  2. Relationships.  Really knowing the individuals on your team and what motivates and drives each of them is critical to being successful.  Effective communication needs to be tailored to each person.  Listening and hearing them is essential.
  3. Inspiration.  Truly valuing and rewarding each employee is the key to inspiring them to do great things.  Recognition is often overlooked and can be as simple as saying "Thank You".
  4. Development--you must provide the right tools and resources and develop individuals based on their needs.  Don't assume everyone is at the same skill level and learns in the same manner.  Really listen to your employee's goals and desires and gife them the opportunity to grow.
  5. Guidance.  As a manager, your role is to provide the ultimate goal and then let the individuals figure out the best way to get there.  You are there to guide them along the way but not micro-manage them.  There is more than one way to get things done.
  6. Empower.  Let the creative juices flow and you may be surprised at how effective solutions may be.  Let go of being in control and become an empowerment leader.

A collaborative environment where people feel they are truly valued and listened to is much more effective than a strict, competitive environment where one person is pitted against the other.

It's all about people.  What are you doing to build a strong team?  I look forward to reading your comments.

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