I am a strong believer in going to work every day and staying focused on getting the job done. I want my teams to feel excited about what we’re doing and I work hard to clear obstacles so they can work uninterrupted. However, stress is always there, taking it’s toll on everyone.
This series of posts are not going to be touchy feely, explaining my favorite yoga poses, I’ll keep it focused on what matters to me, and I’m sure other managers. Identifying the stress and eliminating it as best you can.
While I am not the type of leader that forces deadlines on his team, I am a person that works with the team to identify reasonable targets, and then drives to those targets. Once people make committments I make committments. These committments are to my boss (the CEO), our customers, our partners, and anyone else who I can tell. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I like to communicate aggressively.
Stress Factor: You, the boss
As the head of your team you will often be the major contributor to the stress of the people you work with. You cannot afford to be an easy going, indecisive, individual. If you want to go that route find another career. I am not proposing that you become an overbearing Atilla the Hun type either. However, once you make committments you and your team are on the hook and you must ensure your team knows this.
- Communicate clearly and frequently. Nothing is more stressful than ambiguity or complete lack of communication. Check in frequently with your team (not micromanaging) and make sure you are all on the same page. Check out my post on daily standups for ideas.
- Acknowledge failures (including your own) immediately and address them. Don’t leave people wondering when you’ll bring the failure up.
- Be honest. This is in-line with the last point. Let people know where they stand, where they exceed and where they need to grow.
- Listen to your team as individuals. What are their career goals? Help them navigate the path to where they want to go, always in a manner that benefits the company. I believe you can, and should, be able to accomplish a win-win in most cases.
What have I missed? What does your boss do that causes stress? Let me know.