4 Ways to Get the Most from Your Professional Team

A good leader gets the most out of his or her team. Doing so requires a genuine commitment to trust, respect, and loyalty.

Employers are always trying to maximize value and productivity while keeping costs low. Much of a company's value, and likewise much of its cost, is centered on its employees. But since every employee has a productivity ceiling and the long-term goals of an organization may necessitate more output from certain positions, tough decisions often need to be made. Firing and rehiring is expensive and can lead to poor morale. Maintaining ineffective practices can stifle growth. Bruce Kasanoff at Forbes floats a third option: talent development. A measure of a good leader is whether or not he or she has the ability to raise the ceilings of his or her employees:


"For most organizations, hiring the best talent is not a viable business strategy. The only way to get the best is to pay more than your competitors, and few companies are willing or able to do this. A far better strategy is to hire decent, hardworking people and bring out the best in them."

There's a bit of the Moneyball mantra in this philosophy — making a lot out of a little. Here's a brief summary of Kasanoff's best strategies for getting the most value from your clubhouse:

1. Assess your talent: Just as a sports team features players with different skill sets, your work team is a collection of unique individuals who bring different things to the table. Figure out what your employees are best at and decide what motivates them. Kasanoff points out that it's not always money or power.

2. Democratize input: Each locker room has its loudmouths. Each also has its quiet leaders. Find ways to incorporate these invisibles in company dialogue. Cater to their specific wiring and you'll see their productivity rise. Getting the most out of people involves engaging them on their level.

3. Embrace individuality: If every player on a baseball club looked and acted like their manager, the team would collapse in the standings. As a leader, you can't promote a degree of conformity with you or any other high-ranking person as the model. Kasanoff:

"Give your people the freedom to be the best version of themselves, rather than a pale version of you."

4. Loyalty and respect: A good manager goes to battle for his team in both good times and bad. This cannot be stressed enough. Employees will give their all for someone they feel respects, trusts, and values them. If they feel good about working for you, they will do their best to be their best.

Below, Maynard Webb on always looking out for your employees.


Photo credit: Ammentorp Photography / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less