You cannot be one thing one day and something else another day. You
mean what you say and say what you mean. There should be no falseness
about your approach, only genuineness. Nor should there be any hidden
agendas or ulterior motives. You come clean because you are straight
Being yourself requires a high degree of self-awareness, about your
talents and limitations, your feelings and emotions, and how these relate
to your principles, values, beliefs, and aspirations. When you know what
you want to be, your own strengths and weaknesses become
increasingly clear as you progress through life, because you are forever
trying to enhance the former and limit the latter.
Bosses who can be themselves are very motivating, because people
know exactly where they stand with them and what they are like. They
can understand such bosses and relate to them without fear of volatility
in mood or thought.
When you know yourself you are able to give of yourself. In doing so
you reveal insights into your own heart and soul.
Your personal behavioral style effectively becomes a reflection of
your true self. When you speak to team members and take an interest
in them it is because you genuinely want to—not because a textbook or
a training course insisted that you do so. When you present a small gift
to someone, whether it be a candy or a word of praise, that person will
know it is for real and not some psychological trick to curry favor.
Falseness, flattery, hypocrisy, two-facedness, and lip service are out
of the question for team leaders who are true to themselves. What you
get is the genuine article—that is being yourself.
Dig deep into your soul and ask yourself: Am I myself at
work, or am I what someone else wants me to be? In other
words, do I act out a role that does not reflect what I want to be?
If you do, you will need to do something about it.
To motivate people you cannot be what someone
else wants you to be. You have to be yourself.
AGREE THE CONTRIBUTION
TO BE MADE
Avoid telling people what to think and what to
do. Instead, agree the contribution to be made.
One of the simplest things a team leader can do is agree the contribution
to be made by each team member and then allow them to get on and
make it. The key word here is “agree.” When you have people’s
agreement to an action they are more likely to do it. If you tell them to do
it, by instruction or imposition, they will do it less well if they do it at all.
Agreement is more likely to be reached when there are good
personal relationships within the team and there is a high degree of
mutual understanding and respect. It does not take much to reach
agreement other than the investment of some time and an exchange of
The “tell, tell, tell” culture is endemic in many organizations. It is
prevalent in hierarchical companies where status is dominant and being
task-driven is the normal mode of operation. These organizations are
essentially prescriptive—senior people
prescribe the answers (the thinking and the
way to work) for more junior people to
adopt. The so-called head office experts use
their positions of power to tell the
organization at large that employees should,
for example, aim to be the best and practice
core values such as integrity, respect, and a
pioneering spirit. All the “telling” bumph emanating from head office is
effectively propaganda aimed at brainwashing employees into the senior
team’s way of thinking and working (as if employees and middle
managers did not think and work this way).
Where a contribution culture exists based on mutual respect and
agreement, there is much less prescription. On behalf of the
shareholders the chief executive will espouse the cause necessary to
keep the company in business and growing. There will then be a series
of agreements with team leaders throughout the company as to what
each has to contribute in pursuit of the cause. Having agreed the
“I’m telling you to
agree to our core
values of mutual
contribution, each team leader and in turn each individual will have total
freedom to find the best way to make that contribution.
The above is a very simple model that provides maximum freedom and
thus maximum motivation for every single employee and manager to
The following are some examples of agreed team contributions:
X sales revenue using Y budget
High % of market awareness using M budget
P output using Q budget
High morale, low employee turnover
Up-to-date and useful financial data
Major systems improvements, effective control data company-wide
T new products developed and brought to market using R budget
D% downtime, E% efficiency using B budget
Very high % customer satisfaction using C budget
Ensure that each individual in your team has agreed the
specific contribution that they are going to deliver.
People are employed to make a contribution through
their work. It is critical that they are clear what that
MEASURE WHAT IS
Clarify and simplify the performance lines
(measures) for each team member.
Spend a minute today asking each person in your team to state the five
key performance lines by which their contribution is measured. Should
there be any ambiguity, confusion, or misunderstanding, it is critical that
you, as team leader, work with each team member to clarify, simplify,
and agree their performance measures.
The best measures have three criteria. They are simple, they are
important, and they are few in number. They are simple to understand
and relatively simple to obtain data about. They are important because
the business will be put at risk should the measurable line be crossed in
the wrong direction. Finally, there should be few of them because most
people are unable to recall more than four or five measures against
which they judge their own performance.
The measures should be expressed through simple lines as follows:
Too many companies have too many measures. They become obsessed
with measurement and falsely believe that what cannot be measured
cannot be done effectively. As a result, measures become meaningless
and teams are burdened with useless bureaucracy.
The key factors that define any one person’s contribution should be
quantified (or qualified) in terms of four or five simple measurement
lines for gauging their performance on a periodic basis. When these lines
are clear motivation is high, because team members know exactly how
their contribution will be assessed. Furthermore, they know that if their
performance falls toward the line of unacceptability and the danger
zone, action will be taken—unless they take action first. The following
are five examples of deliverables.
For instance, in relation to the measure of morale, Henry Stewart of
Happy Computers in London regularly carries out “happiness checks.”
What is important to him is that his company’s customers and
employees are happy. So he measures happiness and his aim is that no
one should cross the line into unhappiness at work.
These simple measures form the essential discipline in the
organization. Every employee will be able to understand them and will
have at least one simple measurement line by which to gauge their own
performance. These measures form the boundary lines around which an
individual or a team’s contribution is defined. In the absence of such a
measure, performance will be poor and the business will suffer.
So measures are highly motivational. They enable people to know
exactly what they are at work for and how they will be judged.
Work with your team to simplify measurement lines for each
Keep your measures simple, meaningful, and few
THE MAGIC SEVEN
When teams do the biz it’s magic. It can take your breath away, it can
be unbelievable—but it does actually happen. In the way these teams do
things they are different from the mainstream of conventional business.
There is a lack of convention and conformity and a high degree of
originality and imagination. It excites customers, and employees are
excited to work for these companies.
Some of the magic companies around today include eguk, the Virgin
Group, Pret A Manger, Singapore Airlines, Happy Computers, Innocent
Drinks, and Semco-Brazil.
The magic comes down to many of the little things that their people
do on a day-by-day basis. These make a big difference to customers and
as a result have a big impact on the business.
Celebrate any success
Touch your team
Clean toilets, push trolleys, and serve
Inspire team members
Write, ring, and remember
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested