Becoming a Fearless Leader: Taking Control and Building Happy, High-performing Teams

I wrote a blog post recently about a time I was the victim of poor management practices. I was surprised by the strong response of some readers.I got a few comments along these lines:all organisations and managers are rubbishthe farther you look up the management ladder, the less intelligent people seem to be.

Ouch. I couldnt really argue, given the story I had written was telling a very unflattering tale about both organisations and managers, who had not acted very intelligently.But I did wonder about this overall view, and what could be done to change it. Not least because I write a weekly blog in which I share my own hard lessons learned in 20 years of executive leadership to help anyone become a better leader and manager.

Stop managing and start leadingI have now pulled together those lessons into a simple guide to help any manager who is feeling out of their depth or who is struggling with a new or underperforming team. This guide helps managers get a grip and regain a sense of control, so they can stop merely managing and also start leading.In Becoming a Fearless Leader: A simple guide to taking control and building happy, productive, highly performing teams, I present my antidote to the feeling of overwhelm and panic that often comes with tackling a challenging managerial role, especially if you have a team that is struggling to perform well.

My antidote is to keep things simple.

Feeling out of your depth, insecure, afraid or stuck can cause you to make poor decisions and be a bad manager. Grasping a simple tool to help you quickly get a grip and find some solid ground is essential. It will speed things up, free up your staff, and make you a more effective leader.

Top tips to build a highly performing teamYou really need just a few basic components to get out of a downward spiral of poor performance and an unhappy team, to get a grip, and turn things around.They are as follows.Creating a mission statement, establishing values, and setting goals with your team. This has the added value of giving you a reason to engage with your team, and find common language and common ground to start from.

Setting up a system for and conducting effective one to one monthly meetings and annual performance reviews. This helps you take on your responsibility as manager for not only the performance but also welfare of your team members. And, it gets and keeps a conversation going so problems are less likely to sneak up on you or them.

Reviewing the basic building blocks of your teams functionality, including skill sets, access to information, and the workplace physical environment. The devil is in the details these are the things you dont usually pay attention to until they are causing you big problems. Pay attention now, and do a swift review. This will help you get ahead of any potential performance-killers and put in solutions in anticipation.I cover all of these areas in detail in my book. I also include worksheets and questions you can work through to guide you step by step in your work with your team. You can sign up sign up here to receive news of the launch and receive free materials to support your journey to becoming a fearless leader.Being a manager doesnt have to be difficult, though it will always be a challenging role. If you keep it simple and put a little work in, you can be the leader that changes the way we all write about our experiences of managers.

This post was originally published on the Perform Green blog.Elizabeth is part of the Perform Green team working on transformation in the NHS and across the smart health agenda. She is currently writing a new book: Becoming a Fearless Leader: A simple guide to taking control and building happy, productive, highly performing teams.


What are the most effective team building initiatives? How do I get a better return on time and resource invested?

One effective team building initiative was that occasionally a good manager I had would bring in very high quality croissants for her team in the morning (not Dunkin donuts, in which I would not have willingly participated).How do I get a better return on time and resource invested? I think that is an ongoing challenge to be addressed each new day. How can I add value?Its Labor Day here in USA today. Attention technological researchers: May you free all persons from labor!

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