Mowing your yard or planning a vacation: that’s the kind of project you can accomplish on your own. Sometimes, though, a project is bigger than one person. A recent LinkedIn article, Growing More Than I Realized!, talked about the importance of teamwork in super-size projects. Here’s the key takeaway from that article:
When your vision is grand, you have to let go and trust the team around you to carry out your vision.
Trusting your team is an important part of the equation, but it’s not the only part.
Just expecting your team to perform isn’t enough. You have to provide the environment, the guidance, and the inspiration for your team to make their own choice to join you on the journey. The world is filled with leadership techniques about that very topic. Leaders have poured days, weeks, and months into developing complex ecosystems around their teams. There’s a place for that, but there’s also a place for the simple day-to-day activities.
Here’s a simple activity I do to help inspire the team around me. I take a few moments to scribble out a sincere hand-written note of encouragement to someone on my team. That’s it! That one simple activity can provide a big boost of inspiration to the people on your team!
If you’re like me, offering this note of encouragement is so simple to do that it runs the risk of being ignored. That’s why I’ve scheduled a repeating to-do item on my calendar. Every few days the reminder “Encourage/Recognize someone” flashes on my screen, and I spring into action. Here are a few more tips for you:
Perhaps your team is big enough that these regular notes of encouragement may not be practical. A quote from Andy Stanley says it beautifully:
Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.
Let the notes of encouragement go viral! Start with your direct reports, and after your direct reports have had an opportunity to experience a few notes of encouragement from you, you can encourage them to do the same with their direct reports. This habit can be a culture-changer once it starts to trickle down to everyone on your team!
Remember that true leadership isn’t about pushing your team forward, it’s about creating an environment that draws them forward. A simple handwritten note of encouragement goes a long way to help create such an environment.
President, Marketing Ideas For Printers