“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth
Leadership Starts with Tough Decisions: Five Leadership Skills for Outstanding Team Building
By Ed Sykes
I have the honor and pleasure of volunteering for many groups and causes. In many situations, I am called upon to lead as chairperson or co-chairperson. Recently, I had the honor of co-chairing an event that involved leading and motivating a team of volunteers to work together for a successful result. Overall, the team volunteers are leaders in health care, education, business, media, the arts, and faith-based organizations, etc. In other words, this team of volunteers consisted of very motivated and accomplished people who wanted to make a difference.
One committee member became increasingly negative in her communication and actions at the expense of the other committee members. She behaved in a manner that was not in line with our overall mission. After a coaching session agreeing on what was expected from her in relationship to our mission, her behavior became increasingly worse. The final straw was a very negative e-mail that stated she was the only committee member who was doing anything and personally attacked the other committee members.
After consulting with the event organizers to gain agreement on a plan of action, I called this person to let her know that this was not acceptable behavior and invited her to meet with me to discuss how we could bring her behavior more in line with the mission of our project. She rejected my invite, and I let her know that by not excepting my invite, she was no longer a participant in our event. I followed up with an e-mail and letter reiterating my verbal statement. She made the choice to “fire herself.”
As leader of the event, I made telephone calls to committee members to explain the committee change, let each committee member know the wonderful job they were doing, and shared with them where we were in relationship to our mission and goals. While making these calls, I soon found out that some committee members were not as involved in the project because of the one negative committee member. Some members had stopped attending meetings, stopped communicating, and weren’t giving 100% for the event. After assuring them that they were valuable team members of the project and that this “negative member” would not be involved in the project’s going forward, we experienced a new level of motivation and participation that took our event to a new level of success and broke a record for attendance.
You may be in a similar leadership position whereby the success of the organization, project, or team depends on how well and how fast you make decisions when faced with challenging situations. The following five leadership skills will keep you on the leadership track during challenging situations, no matter whether your organization is for profit or non-profit, so that you can achieve your goals:
- Live the Mission When Making Leadership Decisions – Live the mission by constantly communicating the mission so that everyone of the team understands the mission and acts to live the mission. Ask team members the following question, “What did you do today to live the mission and achieve the goals of the mission?” Develop clear and concise team member descriptions so that everyone understands how they make a difference. Motivate and reward team members based on how well they lived the mission. (Read the rest of the article at Leadership Decisions)