It's all very confusing! 14 October 2013

It’s all very confusing!

The Challenge of Leadership

Remember when you were first appointed to lead a team?

The world was at your feet. You had made it on to that first important management rung.

If you were lucky, you got some “management training”.

But then, reality strikes.

The job is big. No matter at what level you are. There are business demands, targets to meet, crises to solve, the boss’s demands for action today, often in contradiction to last week’s requests. And there is the team. Looking to you for guidance and leadership.

The burden is heavy, the responsibility great.

No doubt many of you responded by extending working hours, dealing¬† with matters out of hours, cutting short weekends. That’s often the reality.


And did I say that there is a team?  Oh yes. Nearly overlooked that.

It is easy to plough on in the same old way – many managers have their own tasks, as well as leadership responsibility. And it is all too easy to slip back into old ways. Focus on your own work, leave the team to get on with it – after all, you gave them their objectives when you joined them.


But – let’s pause for a moment and remind ourselves that it is the team that leverages your capability. There’s plenty of material on communication and goal delivery.

I would just like to suggest two simple things:

  1. Spend more time with individuals in your team – find out what makes them tick.
  2. Remember to thank them for doing things that matter to you


And that is not just making sure goals are achieved. It’s the little extra things that go on, often unnoticed, day in and day out. It’s that little extra thing that would normally go unnoticed.

And if you don’t think this would work, I leave you to look up Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbells Soup. Now, there is a story to take on board.

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