What does it mean to be accountable when in a leadership position? As a leader you are responsible for what your team does, if those below you on the work line are messing up it is your mess up. It is important to know as a leader when to be patient, when to coach, when to delegate, and when to put your foot down.
Patience as a Leader:
Many times when you are working especially when you are working in a leadership role, you will have to deal with “green hornes” or people who have never done this type of job or work before. When dealing with people like this it is important to maintain patience as they may have many questions. In addition, people who come into a new job with little to no experience may also be slow, or afraid to ask questions. It is important to know when it is okay to allow the person to make mistakes and when to step in and explain the procedure. As a leader you are accountable for the new persons progress. It is important to give them the proper training, but depending on the job, there may not be a lot of time for one on one treatment. In these situations be sure to give clear verbal instruction and perhaps even show them once or twice so they can get a visual.
Coaching as a Leader:
As a leader it is important to know how to give a good pep talk as well as a good tongue lashing. People are going to mess up, they are going to test boundaries. It is the way we learn. Be sure to encourage your fellow teammates when they have been especially successful at completing a task. Sometimes you will have one bad apple or perhaps on rare occasion an entire team of people who don’t seem to be there for the job, but rather just want a paycheck. In these situations it is important you have conversations about how when the company does well they get paid more either via tips or raises down the line. Communication is key when working in any type of team environment. When you have someone pushing the boundaries by coming in late, or slacking off and attempting to push their work onto others it is important to pull them to the side and explain why this is hurtful not only to the company, but themselves. When you have a team every link in the chain has to work at its full potential otherwise tensions rise and people are hurt.
Delegating as a Leader:
There is always work to be done. You as the leader can not handle everything on your own. Just as you can’t do everything yourself you should not expect your team to do there jobs and your job. When in a leadership role and feeling overwhelmed consider the work load of your fellow team mates what can be rearranged. Maybe you need to give someone else one of your larger tasks and take over one or two of their smaller tasks so you have the time to do the rest of what you need to do. Perhaps someone isn’t quite capable of doing one of the tasks you had previously provided them. Do not be afraid to move tasks around between teammates and yourself as long as the job gets done and is done right it doesn’t matter who does it. Also respect your team understand that they are not under you to do all of your work, they are their to support you and the work that you do. Leaders are paid more because they have the hard job of making sure that the job gets done either by themselves or someone else. If you do not have some one who is available to do the job and it needs to be done now, you better get to stepping and do that job.
Putting your foot down as a Leader:
Your teammates do not need to be abused, over worked, or harassed by their fellow workers. If you have a teammate who is consistently causing problems by either showing up late, pawning work onto someone else, or simply poking and poking at someone until they loose it. It is your responsibility to talk to and assess the problem with this individual. If talking, warnings, and changing of the situation does not result in a change you must then consider if this is a person worth keeping. If you don’t have control of getting rid of someone who is beneath you, and you have used all your options of resolving the issue on your own it may be time to go up the chain of command. It is important to do your business of communicating and attempting to resolve all issues on your own before going up the chain.
Do you work in a leadership role? Are you responsible for the mistakes that your team makes? How do you handle it when your team fails? Share in the comments below.