Three Weeds You Need To Address As A Leader

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One of the strategies in my new book, Always Growing, focuses on how to handle the weeds as a leader. Those attitudes, activities, and circumstances that drain the physical and mental resources of you and your team as you work so hard to achieve better results.

Three weeds I see that are always ready to "pop up" and inhibit the growth of your team include:

Confused priorities.
With individuals and organizations often suffering from the desire for immediate gratification, it should come as no surprise that we shift priorities the moment we think something isn't working. The reality is that anything of value will take a long time to grow. If your team members are being asked to frequently switch priorities they run the risk of wasting precious resources as they struggle through their day. As much as possible, let your team finish what they start, and make sure your own actions align with what you say is important. Consistently communicate where your team should be focusing their time and make yourself more available to them to recognize any potential confusion. And if you really want to find out if you're on target, ask each member of your team-"What would you say is our top priority?" You might just be surprised by their answers.

Ongoing overload.
We all need to be stretched, and having brief periods of overload force us to determine better ways to get our work done. When people constantly have too much on their plate, however, they go into “check off” mode, just trying to get things done without a focus on quality or efficiency. Do you encourage others to build in strategic thinking time into their week? Do you model it yourself and share your insights with your team so they can recognize the value of such time? Are you noticing the signs of overload for your team, and working to determine how to lessen their physical or mental load?

Lack of connection
Recently I talked about the danger of feeling alone at work, and I was amazed at the number of people who commented that they experienced those feelings on a regular basis. When you and your team are so busy trying to get things done, you can forget the fact that people bring their minds AND hearts to work. The moment someone starts feeling isolated in their situation or having to go it alone with a problem, their productivity and work quality can quickly suffer.

That's why I so often say that the most critical benefit of getting your team together is for them to share their unique successes and challenges and feel connected to something bigger than themselves.

And how do you best prevent these weeds from showing up? Make it a priority to listen to what your team members are saying... and NOT saying.