Leaders will use a team to complete certain components of a project, but the key expectation of the leader is that they understand when something is really done. This is so important in regards to hitting deadlines; we can all reference projects that were completed in a quality manner, but that were overshadowed due to being late. Here is a final checklist (in order) for getting something done. Incorporating each step is what allows for proper planning, execution, and on-time results.
Final three steps in getting something DONE:
- Documentation is complete (final approval has been obtained)
- Tested before roll-out; There is rarely a test run that does not result in a modification. Expect and plan for a rinse and repeat cycle between items one and two
- Completion of roll-out, training, and enablement; done means it is live and ready to achieve the results that made the project purposeful in the first place
We can produce on-time quality results once we understand that these three items must be part of classifying a project as “done”. As an extra bonus, the list also serves as a natural filter for prioritizing and embarking on projects. We only have so much bandwidth, and need to refrain from equating being busy with being productive.
Every team member should believe in the vision of their leader. Buy-in comes from trust, which must be earned. Here are some core questions to ask yourself in regards to whether or not you have earned your team’s trust:
- Everything starts with a great plan: Have you done a good job laying out the plan by explaining how it was formulated, and being specific in regards to contributions needed from each team member? Have you gotten to the point where they understand and believe in their ability to contribute/impact outcomes?; Do they own and believe in their portions of the plan?
- How would they rank your competency level? Does your team have full belief in your understanding of the business, goals you set, and your ability to help them cross the hurdles along the way? It starts with explaining “the why” behind goals, changes, and plans. Then your ability to get in the trenches when needed and help with a win, course correction, etc., is what cements the belief in your competence and the team’s ability to succeed under your leadership.
- Do they value/respect your work ethic? The quality and tempo of the work you do sets the example for your team. Go-getters trust and are motivated by Go-getter leaders.
- How would they rank your level of character and integrity? If you have made it to a leadership position, you likely have a high-level of character and integrity, but does your team know it? Have you spent the required time to build and maintain your relationships? Time and experience with each person is the starting point, and then consistently doing what is right is what must follow. Also notable is that doing what is right is not always what is easy/popular, but it is what creates long-lasting respect and belief in your character and integrity.
Most people desire to be successful and they seek a leader they can count on for support and guidance. In order to earn their trust, they must believe that being on your team gives them the best chance for success.
Reflect often (and trust your gut) on what is needed to build and maintain trust. At any given time, there is someone on the team that is not a full believer; therefore, building and maintaining trust must be a continuous effort by all leaders.