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.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.
- Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
- Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
- The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.