Last Updated: 12/9/2021
Greetings and good day, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today it’s time for another Coordinate THAT! post. Today’s post is a guest post brought to us by Kimberly Herm, a civil engineer corps officer with the US Navy. She is also my sister. True to the recurring theme of an Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises “Coordinate THAT!” post, where I discuss team leadership and management through my eyes as a busy coordinator at a large private bilingual elementary school in East China, today Ms. Herm will be sharing some of her knowledge and insights on the topic of Leading Teams.
But before we jump into today’s “main course,” speaking of the military, we just observed a very important military remembrance day in the US. The day actually wound up being an important day for all Allied Forces in World War II, in the end, changing the entire course of the war. The day I am talking about was, of course, the day the Japanese Imperial Navy Air Service attacked Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941. This past December 7th, 2021, just a few days ago, marked the 80th anniversary of the attack. Speaking for my sister, too, both our grandfathers on both sides served in World War II. Though neither one was at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack (nor ever even station out of Hawaii, for that matter), our maternal grandfather did serve in the Pacific.
An electrician by training, his hope and dream during the war was to fly fighter jets; but, as the family stories go, he never even made it through flight training – though he tried – as he suffered from severe motion sickness. With his love of planes and flight, he wound up being assigned as an airplane mechanic stationed on the island of Biak, Indonesia, during the war. Immediately after the war, he was reassigned to Tokyo as a member of the First Wave of Allied Occupation of Japan.
Time hurries on, and life goes on. Of course, I hold no animosity over the events of the past which have now been laid to rest, but the recent observance of the 80th Pearl Harbor Day made me think of Grandpa Staich, R.I.P.
With that said – without any further adieu, I present you with Leading Team, by Kimberly Herm:
By: Kimberly Herm
Teams are the back bone of all organizations. Teamwork enables innovation, builds morale, and produces results. But teamwork doesn’t just happen. Teams need a leader to provide guidance, instruction, and direction. Someone who establishes goals, develops milestones, and drives success. So, what is a team, and what makes a team leader? A team can be anything from an entire company lead by the CEO, to a small group of individuals assigned a specific task. Most people lead many different types of teams throughout their lifetime, and while they might look different, the steps for success remain the same:
Have a plan. Know what goals you are trying to accomplish, how these goals fit into your organization’s mission, and your timeline for accomplishing these goals.
Assemble your team. Select the right people to contribute at the right time. Ensure your team members understand the team’s goals and their individual roles in accomplishing them.
Set expectations. While goals are what your team is trying to accomplish, expectations are behaviors you hold your team accountable to in order to enable meeting those goals. Clearly articulate these expectations to your team members. And, while you’re doing so, also clearly articulate what your team members can expect from you as their leader.
Provide space. Within the established goals and expectations, provide your team members space to come up with ideas, to share their thoughts, to develop products, to discuss, to disagree, and to debate. Empower everyone to feel like they are heard and are valuable contributors to the team.
Evaluate. Taking into account the expertise, ideas, and discussion generated by your team, evaluate the way ahead, develop a course of action to accomplish your team’s goals, establish milestones, and assign tasks.
Follow-up. Check-in with your team together and individually to make sure they are on track to meet their milestones. Identify and remove obstacles that thwart progress. Re-evaluate to make sure your team’s efforts are in fact leading towards the desired outcome, and adjust as needed. Adjustments might occur at any of the steps above, as this is an iterative process. As adjustments are made, go back through all the steps to ensure alignment and transparency, keeping everyone on the same page, engaged and focused on successfully meeting the established goals.
From a very young age, the importance of teamwork is instilled in us when as school-aged children we are assigned group projects and graded on our ability to work together to produce a cohesive product. Unfortunately, however, rarely are we taught how to actually lead teams and foster teamwork. Instead this is something we end up learning through trial and error that starts in childhood and develops throughout one’s lifetime. So whether it’s your first time leading a team, or your 100th, do not be afraid if you feel like you don’t have it all figured out – new projects and new teams will present new challenges, continuously facilitating your growth as a leader. If you follow the steps, solicit feedback, and seek out trusted mentors, you will learn as you go, developing and fine tuning your leadership style, cultivating effective followers eager to be a part of your high performing team!
Better life, better business, better you!
Ideas, inspiration, opportunity,
Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises
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