A Winning Team Makes S.M.A.R.T. Goals

 

S. M.A.R.T. goals! Today we have a guest post from the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with University Alliance. The University of Notre Dame offers higher education opportunities through a variety of online executive certificates, including leadership and management, and negotiations. You can find out more about the courses they offer at this link http://www.notredameonline.com/

S.M.A.R.T. goals

A Winning Team Makes S.M.A.R.T. Goals

When applying S.M.A.R.T goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound – to project management and organisational team building, leaders should take a deeper look at the application of motivation in the creation of effective work groups. Similar to an established sports team that plays as a cohesive unit achieving goals as a group – that is simply unattainable alone – a strong leader can use motivation to propel the momentum of team goals forward. Keep these tips in mind when building a team of excellence:

1. Motivation is a planned activity

Just as a well orchestrated series of athletic exercises builds the stamina and cohesion of a sports team, a thoughtful goal-setting program sets the pace for individuals and work groups. Each individual should identify clear goals that are precisely aligned to his or her work description. From there, managers take on the role of coach and mentor by providing ongoing feedback. It is important to understand if, and when, “time outs” to make goal adjustment are necessary. Motivation is an ongoing person-to-person activity. On an individual level, the specific needs of an employee should be satisfied, while maintaining focus on the team’s overall objectives.

2. Motivation requires versatility

Any certified and seasoned business process manager can vouch that excellent communication skills are vital for long term success. Effective leaders understand the nuances of each team member’s role and skill set, and how those skills and perspectives fit into the larger picture. Goal-setting, monitoring, and evaluation should reflect ongoing motivation that is specific and relevant to an individual’s position within the company. Every person in the organisation needs to feel that his or her contribution is important and valued. Keeping track of progress in the form of reports can help others on the team and in the company celebrate achievements. This also highlights problem areas that require redirection or strategy improvement.

3. Motivation builds collective success, not necessarily a finite “Win”

Effective motivation within the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework recognises that achieving benchmarks such as increased efficiency, profitability, and marketability is about the process, not the final destination. All effective goals dovetail into more extensive ambitions that involve sustained stamina and a dedication to the values-driven commitment of every level of contribution. Some goals will be tailored, traded for other goals, and some will be so long-reaching that exceptional ongoing motivation is vital to ensure forward momentum. An effective leader needs to understand and apply a versatile skill set when coordinating with other leaders and when energising employees. When goals cannot be achieved, the learning process involved can be just as significant as the initial goal. “SMART” leaders make the most of teachable moments.

4. Coaches need motivation too

Seasoned team leaders will tell you that one of the secrets to professional longevity is taking time to feed yourself professionally. Every great coach takes time out to recharge. You will be more effective over the long haul if you schedule time to regularly do what you need to do to replenish your motivational reserves. Your team demands your time, energy, and attention. You owe it to yourself and your team to plan – schedule time in a way that is conducive to longevity. Staggered reviews, budgeted down time, and invigorating networking events are all notable ways to sustain motivational skills.

In combination with implementing specific goals that are attainable and are easily tracked, motivating employees requires skill, versatility, and stamina. While your daily coaching life may not be as exciting as travelling the circuit with a professional sports team, carefully examining the many facets of motivation when applying S.M.A.R.T. goals to your team is imperative. Motivation skills that are up to par ensure that your team finds its own special brand of excellence and plays the game with pride, dedication, and commitment for many years to come.

The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with University Alliance, has provided this article. The University of Notre Dame offers higher education opportunities through a variety of online executive certificates, including leadership and management, and negotiations. To find out additional information about the courses offered please visit http://www.notredameonline.com/

Leadership, the Lone Worker and Getting Things Done

Cartoon of the big bad wolf reading a bedtime ...

Many moons ago when I was a manager in a large organization.  I had a fearsome reputation for getting things done! I choose my words carefully here and, yes, fearsome is the word.

Dictionary definition: fearsome – causing or capable of causing fear!

Yes, I was very well-known for achieving but most of it had a lot to do with volume (of voice) and not value!

Over the years I learnt more about leadership and that true leadership is about vision and valuing both those you lead and those for whom you are delivering.  There was very little to be gained by aggression or an aggressive style of leadership.

I learned as well about project management and that even the achievement of simple tasks can often benefit from a little analysis and planning.

When I moved on from management and into management consultancy, what surprised me, as much as the general lack of leadership, was a lack of delivery skills.

Simply – people did not  know how to manage getting things done and their goals achieved!

Well, we read all the time about the lack of leadership competence.

I suspect the complexity of modern organizations is probably far outstripping our ability to generate enough competent leaders.  If that is true it very worrying indeed.  But that is not why I’m writing today.

The lack of delivery skills, whether well–led or not, is even more frightening.

There lots of people around with great ideas.  They have vision, energy and enthusiasm and they may well have great leadership ability.  If they manage to find themselves in organizations that can support them, they will lead their teams to deliver great things.  But they can founder, if they cannot work in environments that support them in that way.

If you work alone or in a very small organization then you have to be both a thoroughly competent leader and a good manager.  Now what do I mean?  Surely when you work alone you don’t need leadership and management skills.

Sorry but I think you do!  You need to be able to articulate a vision for yourself that will motivate you to commit to the task ahead.  It needs to set-out in enough detail for you to plan the tasks you will need to do if you are to turn your vision into reality.

Then you need to plan, manage and check your project through until you deliver and enjoy the benefits.

Quite a challenge isn’t it!  If you need any help please get in touch I have lots of tips to pass on.  I will be very happy to share with you the lessons I learned the hard way when I decided that fearsome wasn’t the best leadership style I could adopt!

Wendy Mason works as a Coach,Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence

If you would like to work on developing your own confidence, Wendy offers the Wisewolf Learn to Be Confident Program at this link

You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

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Unemployment – looking after your mental health!

Depression (emotion )

Losing a job is one of the most difficult things we have to deal with in life.  It ranks right up there with losing someone you care for or going through divorce.

“It’s a serious fracture in one’s world view,” says Robert London, M.D., a staff psychiatrist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an executive or a bus driver–your identity is very much wrapped up in your job. And to suddenly be without that identity can be devastating.”

That is why it can make you feel down in the first few weeks and seriously depressed if unemployment stretches over months.

It is all too easy to start believing that there must be something wrong with you personally or that you lack some vital characteristic that the rest of the world seems blessed with.

Sometimes you may not realise you are depressed.  You just want to sleep all the time, you don’t want to mix with other people and/or suddenly you start feeling mysterious aches and pains.

Now that you are depressed, of course, finding a job becomes even less likely and you may not feel you can make the effort.  If you do feel like this, then please do seek help from your doctor, coach or counsellor.

But how do you intervene before things become quite that bad?

Well, first, recognise the risk! Then, you need to take responsibility for looking after your own mental, as well as physical, health.

Being jobless can make you feel you have no control over your own life and that makes you feel insecure and unhappy.  So start to take control by giving yourself a set schedule for every day of the working week.

Make finding your new job your new job.  Set a time to start each day and make sure you are showered, dressed and in your new work space (allocate a space at home for this, if you don’t have a home office) by that time each day.

Work to a flexible but firm timetable for the day.  Explain that you will be working at home during the day to family and friends.

Each morning and evening allocate a time to check and revise your work-search “to do” list.  Make sure you build in some networking time – either by telephone, face to face or on social networks – social contact with others will be refreshing as well as part of your job search.

Make some time as well for your own personal development – are there new skills you would like or need to acquire?  The internet and your local library will help you to find free or at least inexpensive resources.

At the end of your working day, if you can, close the door on your working space or at least make it look different.  Then spend time with family and friends doing what you usually enjoy.

Resist the temptation to hole up in your house and wait for the world to come to you. As Dr London say “Isolation is a dangerous thing. When you live in your head, you ruminate and feed your depression,”

Try each day to find either something to be inspired by – nature is great for that – or something to laugh at.  Laughing at old comedy programs should probably available for us all as part of public health services.

Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence

If you would like to work on developing your own confidence, Wendy offers the Wisewolf Learn to Be Confident Program at this link

You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

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Taking Your First Steps in Leadership

English: Children playing in snow

So when do you start to be a leader?

Well, we start leading as soon as someone starts to follow!

You’ve seen them haven’t you – a group of children playing together and then one of them starts to assume command?  They decide the games that will be played and usually the roles that others will take!  “We are going to play….” and off they trot – one of the group has become the leader.

In the workplace, as soon as there are two of you, someone has to lead.  Someone has to decide what you are there for and how you will work together! It is this act of making sense of things that is the core element of leadership.

Some people can’t wait to take the responsibility for leadership and they thrive on it.

Others are more diffident.  The prospect can be frightening and they think they won’t know what to do.  They hope someone else will be the leader, or that leadership can be avoided.

But organizations without any leadership founder!

To be successful leadership needs recognition, so that the direction people need can be given.

People need to know who the leader is! They will want, and need, someone to check-in with to make sure that they, and the organization, are on the ‘right’ course!

Clear and cohesive leadership can give a sense of direction and security even in these troubled times.

But remember as Warren Bennis has said “Leaders are made rather than born.”   So even if you start out nervous or unwilling to lead, you can learn to meet the challenge for your organization.

You too can learn to develop a vision and to empower and support your people in turning that vision into reality.

As you step into leadership, ask yourself what do I bring to the role and how will I prepare?  Then you will find there are lots of resources out there to help you on your leadership journey.

With commitment and good will, you have your feet on the first steps of the ladder to giving your organization the leadership it needs.

 
Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence

If you would like to work on developing your own confidence, Wendy offers the Wisewolf Learn to Be Confident Program at this link

You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

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Leading the Confident Team

Teams of ROTC cadets compete at the water conf...

First would you describe yourself as a confident team leader?

As the leader, you no doubt have confidence in your technical abilities but do you have confidence in yourself? Are you a team leader with self-confidence?

When you are a confident team leader, you are someone who is comfortable in your own skin and in the team leader role!

You know who you are and you know what you stand for, not just in this role but in your life in general.

In successful teams, it is vital that team spirit develops and that members adopt an ‘all for one’ attitude.  But to be successful as a team, each member also needs to have confidence in themselves in their role within the team.

A team is only ever as strong as its weakest link and if a member lacks confidence in themselves, they will also lack confidence in their role within the team.

A strong team is made up of individual members who believe in themselves and their abilities but they also believe that they are stronger because they are playing as a team, and not as individuals.

Unfortunately, when you lack self-confidence, your thoughts and actions are greatly influenced by people around you and by those you believe to be more confident and competent than you. This means that you are easily led by those who are more confident than you.

Even when you believe the team could do better adopting a different approach, your lack of confidence may lead you to doubt your own judgment.

To be successful, it’s essential that each team member develops confidence in themselves and in their role.  But this is most important for the team leader!

If you are not confident in yourself , as leader, then the team is likely to sense your doubts and their confidence in their own roles within the team will be eroded.

Each team member needs to believe in themselves and in their abilities so that all can contribute fully.

Self-confidence can be described as a positive mix of self-efficacy (respect for your own competence) and self-esteem (valuing yourself).

The good news is that confidence is largely learned and with support it can be acquired by anyone.

So if you have to lead a team, act now if you have reservations about your own or a team member’s confidence!

Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence

If you would like to work on developing your own confidence, Wendy offers the Wisewolf Learn to Be Confident Program at this link

You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

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Confidence and the Passionate Leader

confidence

If you wish to be a successful leader, you need confidence!

Passion, communication, and empowerment all contribute to successful leadership but without confidence there is no sound basis from which to lead.

The ability to make good decisions quickly is fundamental to leadership.  But if you are diffident and afraid to make, and commit to, decisions, skills in communication and empowerment will not make up the difference.

I’m afraid leaders cannot get away with “well, maybe but I’m not really sure”!

Those lacking in confidence often agonize over decisions and end up making the safe choice.  Confident leaders take the information that they have and then take action.

Not only does confidence allow you to make the tough decisions that people expect from a good leader but confidence is reassuring to those following. It allows you to lead with authority and to accept constructive criticism and open communication.

Think about it, as a leader, how well you deliver speeches and presentations?  If you deliver with confidence, you inspire your hearers be they your team or potential clients. But the same material delivered with doubt has the opposite effect

How confident are you delivering a presentation that sets the direction for the organization in the future? Will people rally behind you in these difficult times or will they be frightened by your lack of certainty? This is the difference between a confident leader and one who going through the motions!

All kinds of factors contribute to a lack of confidence; some of them may go back to your childhood.  Luckily confidence is something that you can work on with a business or career coach and the results are usually very successful.

Any discussion on leadership without first addressing the confidence of the leader really will not be soundly based. Passion is important but no one will follow you with passion unless you first inspire them with your confidence

Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence.You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

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