Why team leaders MUST ask the tough questions

I really like this post from Pamela, who lists 16 lessons learned from John C. Maxwell’s Developing the Leader Inside You. Author of numerous books, you likely know Maxwell for his popular adage:

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

Pamela tells how she felt compelled to leave a job she loved because of poor leadership within her company. Her story reminds us of the high cost organizations incur when leaders lack the fundamental talents for leading. I am not familiar with Pamela’s personal circumstances, but I do know that the worst case scenario is when valuable employees separate from companies because of inattentive or misguided leaders.

I am impressed with Pamela’s spirit and positive outlook, evidenced by the insights she draws from Maxwell. Posed in the form of questions for managers and team leaders, here are a few of the ideas Pamela struck upon:

  1. Are there arbitrary rules and regulations or is everyone treated fairly and ethically?
  2. Do you allow your team equal opportunity in decisions, if at all possible, especially when it concerns them?
  3. Is everyone on your team freely allowed to voice input? Communications are important. If you do not have an open and uniform sharing of information, input, ideas, feedback, creativity, etc., team success suffers.
  4. Does your team trust you? Do you return that trust? Do you freely give them assignments with directions without micro-managing? Are you over burdened with too much work because you do not delegate work to your team because of lack of trust?
  5. Do you use the language of hierarchy? Hierarchy is a nasty word and has a negative connotation that implies intimidation and manipulation. Don’t use it. It is not worth it.

What questions could you and your team benefit from asking? What questions, if asked and answered, could help avoid your valuable team members from feeling compelled, like Pamela, to separate?

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