The Finance Leader Podcast

085: Inspire Your Team to Win

May 10, 2022 Stephen McLain Season 10 Episode 5
The Finance Leader Podcast
085: Inspire Your Team to Win
Show Notes Transcript

Leaders are a primary source of inspiration and motivation for our team members. How we act and speak and make decisions serves to encourage, or even discourage, our team members as they tackle tough assignments and tasks. How we approach the work and adversity does have ripple effects on team productivity and morale. How can we do better, as leaders, to encourage our team members to be inspired, which then can translate into higher productivity, without being abusive? 

Episode outline:

  1. Great leaders bring out the best in their team,
  2. Let’s set a great example,
  3. Set a realistic vision, and 
  4. Help others achieve their purpose and goals.



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Stephen McLain:

I believe that as leaders, we are a primary source of inspiration and motivation for our team members. How we act and speak, and make decisions serves to encourage, or even discourage our team members as they tackle tough assignments and tasks. How we approach the work and adversity does have ripple effects on team productivity and morale. How can we do better as leaders to encourage our team members to be inspired, which then can translate into higher productivity without being abusive? Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host, Stephen McLean. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. Please consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. My usernames and the links are in this episode's show notes. And also, please join the Facebook group that I have for this podcast community. Thank you. This is episode number 85. And I will be talking about our incredible role in inspiring others to do their best, and I will highlight the following topics. Number one, great leaders bring out the best in their team. Number two, let's set a great example. Number three set a realistic vision and for helping others achieve their purpose and goals. Author and leading expert on positive thinking. Norman Vincent Peale said, change your thoughts and you can change the world. Leadership is about making everyone around us better. It's about communicating a clear direction and providing purpose to what we get to do every day is supposed to be inspiring, not demoralizing. Do you offer clear, consistent guidance every day? Or are you changing direction often, which then confuses your team, and they don't know what to do conflicting messaging will paralyze a team. If you can reflect back on the worst supervisor you had. This may be very traumatizing, but it's important. They may have been abusive or selfish or maybe a person who made life unbearable for you. We want to work hard to avoid that behavior in those actions. We don't want to make our team members feel how we felt during our worst experiences. Break the pattern of bad bosses, don't be them. Be someone who will inspire others to be their best. Do you bring out the best in the people who surround you or does the opposite happen? It comes down to approach and attitude. Do you have biases that you are unaware of But others see and experience from you. You may not even realize that your behavior and words are shaped by a deep bias in your thought process, which is affecting how you treat certain people. We will always begin our journey to inspire others by setting a great example ourselves a humble example. Your actions, your words and your behavior matter. It sets the tone on the team. It can set the culture and also the expectations. Every leader wants a team culture where we have the highest productivity and everyone gets along. Well. That's unrealistic. Without some work, and even then, it may be impossible to achieve. But you can make small improvements micromanagement can destroy a team. I have endured it many times myself. When a leader micromanages every move on the team. It holds back the team's best ideas and best intentions. It means you don't trust anyone, your team will feel belittled and not appreciated. They will know that you don't value them. Can you listen with compassion? Can you guide without being critical? Can you challenge your team? Well, that being about you develop your team not so that it makes you look good, but it helps them grow as people and helps them get new opportunities, and to develop new skills and abilities. Do something that brings out their best not something that gives self doubt and makes them feel miserable. And finance and accounting. This topic is more important than ever. We deal with a daily grind of tasks from dealing with monthly close to providing analysis, especially when the numbers are not leaning in the direction that everyone was hoping for. We deal in adversity all the time. People want their numbers to be what was expected. Have you ever felt like you lost your team because of something you did or said? How do you get beyond that? You have to build trust again. You have to carefully watch your words and actions. You have to change your behavior. You have to work to inspire your team again, not threaten them or coerce them to what you want accomplished, but act and believe in them. So your team will willingly give their best without being bullied or threatened. As a leader, you have a lot of responsibility and the influence how well and how much your team feels inspired to perform their best, it's up to you to bring it out in the best and most positive way. Now let's talk about how we can aspire our team to win and be the best version of themselves. Number one, great leaders bring out the best in our team. Our role every day as leaders is to set the conditions so our team members can achieve their best, which means eliminating obstacles, and setting an environment where everyone can thrive. People want to feel that they can safely be themselves. And when we can achieve that we have a better chance of helping our team maximize their best performance. But doing that is not easy. Not everyone feels safe being themselves. How we speak to people is important, and how we include them. Are you encouraging to your team members? Or are you speaking down to them. So don't be confused, you can still have the tough conversations around performance and accountability. But it takes skill to bring out the best in your team every day, instead of having them be repulsed due to how you act or speak. Number two, let's set a great example. Whenever we want to establish the right tone and culture within our organization in our team, we have to begin with our own example. And what we are communicating in terms of our words, and our actions. What are you communicating? How do your team members view you? Are you communicating a caring, competent and ethical version of yourself? Or is it that people see you as abusive, selfish and narcissistic? Our team members will often emulate or mimic our behavior. So we want to set the best example possible. So we don't create bad versions of ourselves. Keep in mind how you speak and how you treat people. Watch your overall attitude. show gratitude and appreciation for the work your team is getting done every day. It may not be glamorous work, but it's necessary. So please be thankful and be grateful. Number three, set a realistic vision. First, is the vision of your company realistic? Does it make sense for the industry that you are? And does the vision make sense for the work you will be doing? The vision has to be easily linked to what you're actually trying to achieve? And of course, you don't have that much influence over what the vision of your company is the let's talk through a simple example. Does it make sense for an office supply manufacturer to say we are making office supplies to end world hunger. Unless you are a massive nonprofit supplier that contributes every penny and profit to world hunger. Your vision is too lofty. You can make ending world hunger as part of your core values or your social responsibility plan. But it should not be the vision because it's not easy linking ending world hunger to making legal pads or pens or paper clips. So again, hopefully your organization's vision makes sense. Now, does your team know how it fits within that vision? What is the vision for your team? Can you link it to the organization's vision? Why does your team exist? And how does it fit? How can your team members visually see how their tasks matter to what the organization is trying to achieve? And without creating a lofty unrealistic vision? Can you communicate to your team that they do matter and help them see that their daily work contributes to the overall success? Number four, help others achieve their purpose and goals. This is what leaders do. We help others achieve their goals we strive to make others better, especially for the people who are doing the heavy lifting of tasks every day. When a leader thinks somehow their work alone is the only reason their team is successful, then we have a big problem. You are not the sole reason why the team is successful. We need you to do your job and setting the conditions for success, eliminating obstacles and ensuring your team has the right resources for excellence. We need to choose our words carefully and our actions should be the highest regarding ethics and expected standards of behavior. So what tools do we have to help our team? The most important is the weekly one on one session, I believe in the one on ones. These are especially important to growth and communication and to be aligned on goals. Another is the individual development plan where we can focus on long term goal accomplishment. Having a plan is important and your feedback is also very critical in helping your team succeed. I also believe in being aligned on priorities. communicate often and ensure everyone is aligned on priorities which could shift that happens and that is okay. And as long as you communicate what has shifted or what has changed in your priorities, it will help your team succeed every day. I'm also asking you not to do something. Don't talk down to your people, no matter what. No matter how you feel about your contributions, and your own work ethic. Don't make others feel small, because you will lose your team forever. If you do that. Don't humble brag. Don't broadcast your own accomplishments or how hard you work every day, you will lose the respect of your team, continue to listen and guide inspire me. And please don't talk down to me. And any attitude of acting or being superior, will not help in any way. Now for action today, how are you inspiring your team? Or do you need a little work? Please take a moment to write down a few ideas about how you can help your team become their best selves and to achieve their goals. What can you do differently so they enjoy what they do and bring their best every day? Can you change your line of thinking or approach? What words and actions and behaviors can you show your team that you believe in them and that they matter? Give it some time so you can fully examine the situation. It will pay great returns back to you I believe that? Don't forget to grab my free guide for you call the leadership growth blueprint for finance and accounting managers. Are you a finance or accounting professional who is also leading people, but have questions about how to lead more effectively. I know you are expected to be the technical expert in our field. Learning leadership can set you apart from your peers, which can then lead you to more opportunities. In the free guide I talked about three leadership areas communication, team development, and empowerment. Plus a few recommendations around challenges with the financial systems you are using to complete your work. The link to this free guide is in the post or the bio, you can also go to Finance leader academy.com. To download it. Please use the guide to help you with a few leadership wins today. Thank you. So today I talked about inspiring your team to win and I highlighted the following points. Number one, great leaders bring out the best in their team. Number two, let's set a great example. Number three set a realistic vision and for help others achieve their purpose and goals. Leaders have a huge impact on the productivity and overall morale of their teams. It comes down to how people are treated and if they believe they are appreciated for their daily contributions. And for the daily task grind they endure. So what can you do differently, you can set a culture of trust, you can set a culture of gratitude, you can set a culture of empowerment, you can help your team eliminate obstacles and set a realistic view. You can also set a great example of doing the right thing every day. By your own behavior, your words and your actions, you can set the tone that you appreciate the team and for the overall work and contributions they are making. Next week, I will be talking about business cases and high visibility projects that your company analyzes for opportunities, or for special impact. We have all worked on the special project teams. So let's discuss a few important points I can't wait to share. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership skills to change your mindset and to clarify your goals so you can advance your career. You can find this episode wherever you listen to podcasts. If this episode helped you today, please share it with others and please leave a quick review so that others may find the podcast. Until next time, you can check out more resources at finance leader academy.com and sign up for my weekly updates so you don't miss an episode of the show. And now go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you