THE longer a slow market is in place, the more likely bad habits have been developed in both team members and managers. This can cause a slower than necessary re-entry into an improving economic climate.
These habits, which can take many forms, need to be identified and rooted out quickly by the manager both in himself and in the team.
To accelerate this re-entry, the leader must be sure that the four elements of a high-performance organisation are in place.
1. Inter-active trust between the leader and the team
This is initiated by the leader's commitment to personal growth, thereby setting a good example for the team.
The leader does not set this example so that his colleagues can be copies of him or her, but only to prove that he is on a growth curve and improving in the role.
When the leader then coaches the individual's strengths into better job performance, the reward is the trust of the team member. The individual, the leader, other team members, the customers and, most importantly, the person's family, see this growth.
As this trust and respect spreads, it makes an inter-active statement that says: "You have my best interest at heart."
By-products are high morale and a camaraderie that each team member feels, knowing he is a part of something very special.
2. A sense of purpose
This element is bigger than just a goal or even a vision. Purpose makes a long-term statement that through the years a number of visions will be achieved.
A single vision is made up of numerous goals well aimed at the eventual achievement of the vision. The leader knows that true enthusiasm is built by the accomplishment of smaller goals that are part of a larger plan.
These periodic achievements build team energy in the march toward the vision. The high-performance leader also knows that as soon as a vision is attained, it should be celebrated and immediately replaced with another vision lest there be a let-down in morale.
3. Focused action
The leader knows exactly where the team is and the course to be maintained for goal and vision accomplishment. The leader is precise and up-to-date on progress and keeps the team aware of it. This keeps energy and motivation high in each individual.
4. Clear communication
A high-performance leader has inventoried each person's weaknesses and strengths. He knows that to be effective in coaching, you must be aware of the weaknesses but focus on the strengths.
Another important phase of effective communication is to adapt the policy, "never quit selling your company to your company".
Often, the last time a team member has heard anything good about the company was during the recruiting phase. Keep selling your organisation's good points to your team.
Remember, when a team has made it through a storm because of good leadership, the cohesion that is in place is hard to break.