A team working together with a great leader will always outperform a team of individual stars.
Are you the Sheepdog or the Wolf?
Be the sheepdog, not the wolf. The sheepdog is the protector of the flock. The sheepdog protects others that cannot protect themselves.
The wolf is a coward that prays on the weak. In the Teams, we fight to protect our brothers and sisters. It’s that simple.
Leaders always protect those around them, even if it’s with the most simple gesture or a kind word.
This is what former Navy SEAL Brendan Gleeson describes as one of the key lessons he learned in this elite organisation.
To help a flock thrive through volatile and uncertain times, a leader s primary focus should be on creating a mentally resilient culture.
Having carefully weighed up the evidence, these are 6 strategies essential to being a better sheepdog.
- “We” trumps “me”
Workers are motivated by purpose. Knowing how their work contributes to the greater good is essential for an energised workforce.
Leaders who can communicate their mission in a compelling way will increase their employees’ energy levels.
I’m not talking about our mission around money either but something that lets everyone know your raison d’être, for example, Ramsay Healthcare’s (RHC) – People caring for people.
Most organizations have these statements framed on the wall, but it is quite rare for leaders to consistently walk the talk. If it is done consistently well it will pay dividends.
Can your staff clearly describe the purpose of your team?
Does it excite them?
- Acknowledge progress and setbacks
In the Progress Principle, researchers Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer interviewed over 12,000 employees, in particular knowledge workers and members of project teams, to discover what motivates them. Respondents said employee recognition is the least effective way to motivate them. Yet, 95% of managers surveyed said they believed employee recognition was the most important way to motivate employees.
In their research, the authors conducted an analysis of daily diaries kept by teammates on a variety of projects.
Their conclusion is clear: what motivates people on a day-to-day basis is the belief that they are making progress and successful steps forward to achieve a goal (Amabile & Kramer 2011).
Results, completing jobs, tracking what has been achieved adds much more to your team’s morale and motivation than employee recognition.
- Mastering the art of asking Are you OK?
This is essential when a setback happens because this helps stop little problems turning into big ones.
Do you encourage your team to regularly acknowledge progress?
- Encourage physical wellbeing
In the “R U OK?” survey, only 42% of highly stressed employees said their employer encouraged physical wellbeing compared with 73% of low-stress employees.
Physical wellbeing can be encouraged by arranging walking or standing meetings, having flexible work arrangements that allow time for exercise, and gym.
Interestingly, when employees were asked what were the most effective strategies for reducing harmful stress doing more exercise rated second after speaking to someone at work.
Do you as a leader encourage wellbeing by modeling sustainable work-life integration?
- Focus on outputs, not inputs
Despite extensive research in Daniel Pink s book, DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, making it clear that autonomy and mastery motivate employees, many employers still operate with industrial age thinking.
Don’t focus on “being busy” focus on results.
Do your rewards and processes encourage “results” or just “being busy”
- Invest your time wisely
In 2011, Jennifer Aaker, Melanie Rudd and Cassie Mogilner from Stanford University published a paper titled If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Consider Time, in which they discuss how happiness is indeed a consequence of the choices people make.
So what can people do to increase their happiness?
Their answer is surprisingly simple: invest your time wisely. Although wellbeing is clearly relevant for individuals, businesses should also pay attention. Building a workforce of highly qualified, hard-working, and loyal employees is an essential aspect of staying competitive in today’s global markets.
Therefore, being concerned about employee wellbeing is not just a moral thing to do, but it makes smart business sense as well.
They conclude that the activities that generate the greatest wellbeing are working on projects that get outcomes/results (these usually allow you to use your strengths which than energies you (Aaker, Rudd & Mogilner 2011).
Does your team place priority on completing jobs that energizes them?
If someone is stressed in your team because they have too many activities. Help them by directing their attention to completing a single job before they go home that night and watch their self-esteem improve.
Be the sheepdog, not the wolf.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways we can help you grow your Accounting or Bookkeeping business:
1. Grab a free copy of our book – Accountants 20-Hour Workweek
It’s the blueprint to structure, staff and scale your firm whilst dramatically reducing your work hours. — Click Here
2. Join the Wize WaterCooler and connect with other Accountants who are scaling too
It’s our new Facebook community where business-minded Accountants and Bookkeepers learn to build a firm that runs without them. — Click Here
3. Join our new WizePulse Implementation Program
We’re putting together a new mentoring case study group this month. If you’d like to get the plan, tools and advice from the Wize Mentors to scale your firm… just send us a message with the word “Pulse” – Click Here
4. Work with the Wize Guys privately
If you’d like to work directly with the Wize Mentor team to take you from stuck to scale…just send us a message with the word “Growth”… tell us a little about your firm and what you’d like help with, and we’ll get you all the details! – Click Here