Have you noticed as modern-day employees make their way into the workplace, they expect to play by an entirely different set of rules than those of past generations? Most likely you have Millennials, the generation that reached young adulthood in the early 21st century, as part of your team. As a team leader, have you adapted or are you still trying to play by yesterday’s rules?
In times past, employees would be given orders and were required to implement them if they wanted to hold their positions. However, times have changed. Younger workers want to be given the freedom to experiment, a voice within their organization, and the ability to pursue what they view as meaningful work. Anything less they view as limiting.
Sadly, leaders from previous generations often misunderstand the younger generations’ motivations. As a result, they underinvest in employee training, assume that all young people are the same, or even worse, question their drive and work ethic. To do this would be a big mistake, essentially, it means throwing away the future of your company!
As a team leader, one of your biggest challenges (and opportunities) is to create and foster an environment that lends itself to engagement and productivity. Today, more than ever before, to ensure high levels of workplace output and morale employees need to feel valued and challenged. It’s also clear that to be able to respond to and stay ahead of change, leaders need to develop workers who are comfortable thinking independently and contributing to the team.
It’s time to shed the old-fashioned view of “the boss” and start viewing yourself like an orchestrator.
When you’re conducting the orchestra, you’re not playing each instrument or standing over each artist as they perform their craft. Instead, your job is to give them the complete score, with everyone’s section detailed so they know where and how to join, to start, to stop, to build up or when to gradually pull back. It’s your artistry as the conductor that produces the results of the team.
In essence, a good orchestrator is a good coach. Coaching is one of the best ways to encourage employee growth as it helps the team bring out their own abilities and find their own solutions. They learn to move past mental blocks and limiting beliefs to achieve things that they may not otherwise have seen as possible.
Often, employees are tasked to jobs that fall within a tight range of responsibility. It is simply assumed that they are not able to complete tasks that are more complex, demanding, or require different skills than what they’ve been doing until now. What if, instead of accepting employees’ limitations at face value, team leaders were to give them the training and support needed to go beyond what they’ve done in the past. With coaching aimed at helping them meet this new challenge, they will likely rise to the occasion and quite possibly surpass your expectations.
Imagine orchestrating a team where everyone sees opportunities rather than barriers and each team member is valued for their limitless potential. This is possible when leaders train themselves and their leadership teams in the art of coaching.
Coaching is a fundamental component when establishing a Community of Practice, a progressive model of team interaction. To learn more about this model and how to orchestrate a successful team, I encourage you to download my special report, Leading a Purpose-Driven Team.