Is your team committed to those you serve (your workforce)? Do they respect the assignments they are given and do them well? Do they believe everything they need to do is an opportunity to shine? Do you?
Yesterday was the 212th day of the year. You may have heard of the 212th degree, a thought process coined by Mac Anderson and Sam Parker on how to inspire yourself and others to be the best possible person they can be.
They’ve written a book which begins with, “At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. Just one extra degree makes all the difference.”
Are you ready to make all the difference? Here are a few tweaks you can make to your leadership style, and how it will help you harness the power of the 212th degree theory, to inspire your team to give a little extra effort, care and attention in their daily tasks.
One of the most powerful messages for this type of thinking is realizing that change can start small and can start at any time. Look at your own work and personal life. Are you able to clearly define what you want in life? Why you want it? If not, start there. Make a small goal. Do one thing better. Make it a routine, then a habit. It takes 21 days to turn a change into a habit. Watch it morph into, ultimately, a trait. After all, going from 211 to 212 is going to take some change in a part of your normal routine.
The same can be said for your team. Find a small positive. Find a detail you appreciate and communicate your approval. Promote or champion a great idea. Help your team to recognize the value in themselves and each other. And keep supporting, promoting, recognizing, and talking about the positives. Positive feedback feeds our brains, literally, and sets us up for greater creativity, motivation and success.
In thinking about how to build trust, loyalty, motivation and all of the positive attributes associated with a successful team, it is important to build from the point of leadership first. A good leader doesn’t just get people to do what they ask; they inspire their team to want to do it for themselves. They demonstrate the level of quality output they expect and communicate why it is important to them, individually.
Most importantly, they believe in themselves.
What separates those that succeed from those that quit just shy of it often is positively and persistence. Effective leaders help their team understand their own internal motivation and, in turn, attract those with like minds and shared values. The team isn’t working for individual goals or mission directives, but rather a unified understanding of what they want to accomplish and how they will get there, with the leader acting as a positive, guiding and supportive hand.
Simply telling your people what your goals and beliefs are is not the same as communicating an understanding of foundational principles. Take the extra steps to explain yourself and how that personality has shaped your work philosophy.
- Show the benefits of your methods and model them in your own work.
- Be upfront about who you are, as an individual, and how this transfers to the organization.
- Clearly explain what you expect and consistently recognize the team or individuals meeting these expectations.
Granted, you may send some people the other direction, if they don’t share your core values and beliefs. That’s ok. If anything, you’ve saved yourself the time of hiring, training, and integrating those who aren’t buying in to begin with.
Ultimately your team will be a diversity of race, religion, gender, personality, age, etc. Their singularity being confined to unified career and organizational goals. By incorporating many personalities and strengths, you increase the types of ideas and problem solving skills within your group. This balanced group can be what takes your team from functioning to truly exceptional.
Also, your job is to recognize and align with those who understand you and your underlying reasons of why and how you do the things you do. This means going a little further in your interpersonal relationships with your team. Take the few extra steps to really show and explain what you’re about. And ask the same for your people. Get to know them and encourage them to know each other.
The little extra isn’t a secret. It’s not expensive nor is it only available to certain people. That’s part of its appeal. By taking these extra steps in your own career and when managing your team, the rewards will be felt by all. Before you know it, your pot is going to be bubbling over.
Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.