10 Commandments of Leadership

As this career advice blog has grown in popularity, I’ve gotten more and more requests from people who want to do guest posts.  I think this is great.  It’s always good to get a variety of perspectives on career success.

This career advice guest post is a little different from others that have appeared here in the past.  I’m hosting day six of The 10 Commandments of Leadership Blog Tour, by WalkTheTalk.com.

For 10 days 10 different blogs are highlighting each of The 10 Commandments of Leadership.  I was pleased to be asked to be a host.  Walk the Talk Company has published three of my career advice books.  They are good friends of mine and respected colleagues.

Eric Harvey, CEO of Walk the Talk, and Steve Ventura are the authors of The 10 Commandments of Leadership.  This book is a powerful collection of leadership advice. You can benefit from reading it if you are leading a large organization, a small group of peers, or your own family.

Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager agrees.   He says “Every leader can learn something from this book.”  Ken is right. That’s why I’m honored to host day six of this blog tour.

Today’s career advice is excerpted from Chapter 6 of The 10 Commandments of Leadership – “Provide What They Need to Succeed.”

EXCERPTED from Chapter 6 of The 10 Commandments of Leadership — “Provide What They Need to Succeed”

For the most part, all team members want to be successful. But they require help … they need things. It’s tough for people to do a good job – to do their best work – when they don’t have the “tools” (resources) they need. The things your team members need in order to be as successful as possible typically fall within three categories. You need to provide …

1. INFORMATION

Clear expectations. Team members should know – in specific, behavioral terms – what they need to do to be successful in your eyes.
Ongoing feedback. Common sense suggests that the more employees know how they stack up against your expectations, the easier it is for them to keep their performance on track. That’s why providing specific, detailed feedback needs to be an ongoing process rather than a once-a-year “event.”

Task-specific data. Employees must have all pertinent background information in order to perform tasks properly and carry-out delegated responsibilities. This includes: the what’s, why’s, and when’s of things that must be done, any requirements that must be met and restrictions that must be followed, what latitude and discretion can be exercised, how success will be measured and evaluated, and who to turn to for guidance and assistance.

2. RESOURCES

The 4 T’s …

Time. If you want people to perform at their best, you must ensure that they have adequate time to do so. Effective leaders not only provide time, they also respect it. If you want team members to believe that their work is important, you have to believe it, too. More importantly, you have to behave like you believe it!

Tools.  Every job requires certain equipment, devices, software, and supplies. Your people are responsible for doing good work. You are responsible for making sure that’s possible.

Training. It’s almost impossible to do a job well if you don’t know how. That’s why one of the most basic (and sometimes overlooked) success strategies is making sure that each team member has the knowledge and skills required to meet job expectations.

“Troops.” One of the many responsibilities of leadership is making sure there is adequate staffing to get the work done. Even though “doing more with less” has become – and likely will continue to be – the business mantra of this ever-tightening economy, you must be cautious and careful to not drive your people into the ground with more work than they can reasonably be expected to handle.

3. SUPPORT

How to SUPPORT Your Team Members

Maintain an “Open Door.” Encourage them to come to you with their problems and concerns. Listen and respond appropriately.

Be accessible and available. Unless you’re on personal leave, make sure they can contact you for any needed clarification or guidance.

Allow reasonable schedule flexibility to accommodate their personal needs.

Think and plan before assigning work and implementing projects so you can minimize unnecessary changes and extra work.

Keep the environment respectful and “safe.” Do not allow derogatory humor, destructive feedback, or the criticizing of input and ideas. Take immediate action to stop them if they occur.

Back their decisions and act on their recommendations whenever possible and appropriate.

How to Discover What Else Team Members Need for Success….ASK THEM!

Like you, team members want to do well and make positive contributions to the organization. But also like you, they need help to do that … they need information, resources, and support. And they need those things from YOU. As a leader, your success comes from your people’s success. So, one of the very best things you can do for them and yourself is practice leadership commandment number six: Provide What They Need to Succeed

QUESTION for Chapter 6

Think about all the “things” you and your team need to succeed.  In what areas could you realistically provide more support?

CONTEST

Now is your chance to win! Here’s how!

1. By 12 midnight (Eastern) tonight: Post your answer to the above question (as a comment) on this blog and your name will be entered into a drawing to receive a FREE copy of The 10 Commandments of Leadership. Your name will be entered into the drawing a second time if you send us a tweet by copying and pasting the following:  @Leader_Solution I commented on Day 6 of The 10 Commandments Blog Tour http://bit.ly/10Command

2. By 12 midnight (Eastern) on January 28: Post your answer to each day’s question (10 comments in total) for a chance to win a $100 Gift Certificate to WalkTheTalk.com.

Be sure to click here to learn more about the book and see the schedule forThe 10 Commandments of Leadership Blog Tour.

The 10 Commandments of Leadership provides some great common sense leadership and career success advice.    I recommend it highly for creating the leadership and career success you want and deserve.  Read the other posts in this series and you’ll see why.

As always, thanks for reading.

Bud

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Comments

  1. I was really happy to be asked to host one of the days of “The 10 Commandments of Leadership” blog tour.

    This is a great book, presented in typical Walk the Talk style — straight to the point, informative, entertaining and full of ideas you can use right away.

    If you are a leader — or an aspiring leader — pick up a copy and read it. You’ll be glad you did.

    Bud Bilanich

  2. I think that my with my group, we could look for more opportuities to allow members to “take” charge..and give them the freedom to do so. I also LOVE the idea presented here….to just flat out ASK THEM what they need to succeed.

  3. Thanks for your comment Nikki.
    I agree, asking other people what they need is a great place to start.
    Bud

  4. “Provide what they need to succeed”. This is true whether it applies to business or family. As a stay at home Mom, I think it is very important to have a stable family environment. Mixed together with healthy meals, education, and outside activities. For us having a Faith to pull us together made a big positive difference. In business give people the training or skills they need to run a business smoothly.

  5. I agree Cathy. The leadership advice in Eric and Steve’s book applies to situations not in the business world. As a Mom, you know that “provide what they need to succeed” is advice that applies to your kids, just like it applies to a sales manager or customer service supervisor. Thanks for this insightful comment.
    Bud

  6. I’m not in a leadership role currently, in fact I’m unemployed. But in my volunteer work, the importance of clear expectations and task-specific data cannot be overstated. To back that up, safe and open communication must be maintained. Team and client safety are on the line when anything is left vague or unclear. Sometimes the team leadership defaults to personal attacks (blaming) rather than analyzing why a problem occurred. This closes the doors of communication, and causes team members to not want to be part of that same task in the future, or to quit the team entirely. Care must be taken to address the problem, not attack the person. Involving the person in a solution can go a long way in improving the procedures and the communication.

  7. Thanks for your comment Debbie:
    I really agree with your point about attacking a problem, not other people. And as you say, involving others is the first step in creative problem solving.
    All the best,
    Bud

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