Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of the sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the Law of the LORD and in His Law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.
This is how you Be The Bacon!
ACCOUNTABILITY.TEAM: Setting and maintaining high Standards within the Team. (Q4.8).
The Q sets and maintains high Standards for his Team Members
In the Second Quadrant we described how important individual Accountability is to individual IMPACT. There, we defined Accountability as submission to Standard through Enforcement and Consequence and explained that the Q subjects himself to Accountability in order to exercise Virtuous Leadership.
Team Accountability is based upon the same principle as individual Accountability
Here, the Q applies the Team’s objective measures of performance to the Members by setting high Standards and maintaining them through Enforcement and Consequence.
A Team without Standards rapidly becomes static, which is the opposite of Dynamic
A static Team (at best) might morph into a club, a group that accomplishes nothing but continues to exist because its Members like each other. More likely though, a static Standard-less Team will disintegrate altogether, as it is the nature of the HIM to search for a Group that is Purposeful. Clubs are for Kimonos (men for whom personal comfort is their watchword) not HIMs.
Alternatively, if the Team does have Standards, but the Q can’t or won’t maintain them, the Members lose respect for his Leadership, which erodes the Trust necessary for the Team to function. The same result occurs where the Q does not Enforce the Standards evenly between all the Members—loss of respect, leading to erosion of Trust, ending with disintegration of Team.
As with individual Accountability, there must be Consequences for failur to meet Standards within the Team
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2 Timothy 3:17
That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
“An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory;”
“If you always support the correct principles, then you will never get the wrong results.”
“Unswerving loyalty to duty, constant devotion to truth, and a clear conscience will overcome every discouragement and surely lead the way to usefulness and high achievement.”
Leaders Leading Leaders
In 1932 Dale Carnegie published a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Today, it’s sold 13 million copies. Most people read it and think: “That’s interesting”, then shut the book and forget all about it. But I heard a story about Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors. Apparently, he’s fascinated by it. So much that he decided to do a statistical analysis of what happened if he followed Dale Carnegie’s rules – and what would happen if he didn’t.
He tried giving some people attention and appreciation, and then others nothing. Sometimes he would be deliberately crabby, just to see what happened. He tracked all his results. What he found was that the numbers proved Carnegie’s theory – the rules in the book worked!
I love this story because sooner or later as a manager you realise that many of the people you depend on for your success don’t actually report to you. And that’s when you realise just how important influence and persuasion is to leadership.
Knowing how to inspire people – not just amongst your own team, but across a wider network of internal stakeholder – will define you as a leader.
Here’s four stories that I think reveal important points about leading staff to success:
1 – Leaders set the direction
Once upon a time, a group of soldiers became lost in the Alps. They were hungry and disoriented. They argued about which way to go, but in the fading light every peak looked the same. The soldiers had no chance of surviving the night in the freezing temperatures.
Suddenly, a miracle.
One of them found a map sewn into the lining of his kitbag. He plotted a route, and marched them briskly back to base. Later, when they were warm and well fed, the soldier looked closer at his map. It actually was of the Pyrenees – hundreds of miles away.
It’s like the old saying – when you’re lost, any old map will do.
Take-away: Leadership entails vision. Otherwise where are you leading people to? If you don’t know where you want to go to – and if you can’t communicate that direction effectively – then you have no right to ask people to join you on the journey.
2 – Great leaders let people get on with it
Bad leaders like to ‘shake the pan’.
You see this a lot on TV cooking shows. The producer tells the chef to keeping shuffling the risotto around the pan. It’s more fun to watch, but apparently it’s not always the best way to cook.
To top chefs, learning when to leave food alone – when to resist the temptation to flip the steak – is as important as learning when to manipulate it. It’s the same for leaders. Great leaders know when to stir things up and when to let it simmer.
3 – Leaders hire the right people
One thing a lot of people miss: being a great leader starts before your team even start work.
Publishing magnate Felix Dennis used to say: Never seek a replica of yourself to delegate to, or to promote.
Apparently, it’s a common error in leaders. You have strengths and you have weaknesses in your own character – so it makes no sense to increase those strengths your organisation already possesses and not address the weaknesses.
Ad man David Ogilvy was also a big proponent of only ever hiring people who were smarter than them.
He kept a set of Russian nesting dolls, and would place sets around his offices to illustrate a point: “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”
I hear they’re still dotted around Ogilvy offices today.
Take-away: Consistently hiring people who are smarter than yourself could be the greatest legacy you leave.
4 – Leaders understand what really motivates staff
Restaurateur Danny Meyer says that he learned about managing employees from working on John Anderson’s 1980 presidential campaign.
“Learning to manage volunteers – to whom, absent a paycheck, ideas and ideals were the only currency taught me to view all employees essentially as volunteers” he writes in his book, Setting the Table.
“Today, even with compensation as a motivator, I know that anyone who works for my company chooses to do so because of what we stand for.”
Take-away: As a leader it’s up to you to provide solid reasons for your employees to want to work for you a sense of meaning and purpose – over and beyond their pay-check