The role of a leader is vital to the flow, productivity, management and success of a team. Although leaders are not always connected through a team, when they are directing a team there are specific skills and knowledge that a leader can utilize to maintain the function of that team for optimal success. If you find yourself in a leadership role, or even if you’re a member of a team, understanding how a team can be lead effectively will open a world of potential for everyone on the team.
As a leader, you must set boundaries for your team right at the beginning. Boundaries establish a guideline for the team to follow. It provides a scale of expectations for everyone on the team to align with and see where improvement is needed. Allow this time of boundary setting to lay out the responsibilities. This is an opportunity to set goals and mark milestones ahead so everyone is aware what needs to be accomplished by when.
Boundaries also work to establish the behavior of a team. When set right, boundaries can motivate a team and allow team members to have better focus. During this time, be sure to show your team that you believe in it’s potential and purpose. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high!
For a team to function effectively with the best possibility of success, a leader needs to be approachable. At times, a team will be dependent upon their leader or leaders. Leaders can provide guidance for a team, but without approachability that potential may fail. By becoming approachable as a leader, you give your team members reason to come to you with thoughts, ideas, concerns and any other matters pertaining to the team and it’s goals. Sometimes a leader needs to learn when to be quiet, in order to listen to the team. Approachable leaders know that they don’t run the show, and teamwork requires everyone’s input.
Respect Each Member
Having respect for each member of your team will build trustful relationships and boost the team’s overall confidence. You want to give each team member a reason to bring their authenticity, skills and knowledge to the table. The more open the team is, the better potential it has. By showing you care and respect for the members of your team, you bring yourself on the same level as your team, earning their respect in return.
Communication is a key component to a successful team. To best lead your team, make sure everyone knows their role and responsibility. When a member is unclear of their job or duties, that lack of communication only hinders the entire team. By establishing responsibility across the team, each member is aware of what to complete on their part. Together, it can bring a team together with the best potential for success.
Leadership goes beyond just managing a team. Leaders are there to encourage, acknowledge the positives and confront the negatives. Without a leader, there would be no team.
Each step a business takes is vital to success and moving forward. It’s important for a business to know a plan inside and out. Creating a strategic plan in any business requires an outline. The strategic plan will lay out the step-by-step elements including but not limited to goals, objectives, and relevancy to the company mission. If you’re looking to think more strategically in your business plans and management, here’s everything you need to outline your strategic business plan.
What is the purpose of your plan? Focus on the end result and elaborate on that vision. This is where you summarize where you want the business to be at the end of this plan. You can keep this on the shorter side, writing only 1-3 sentences. For example, if you’re a startup business, your vision summary could look something like this:
(Insert Business Name Here) will be recognized by the public through a launch event. We will be open to business on (Enter Date Here) with driving sales and revenue to (Expected Revenue) by (Enter Date Here).
Creating your vision doesn’t have to be sales oriented. It can regard any goal or vision for your business. Consider this part the introduction and keep it simple as “Hello, My name is…” just like you’re meeting someone for the first time. This is the first time anyone in the company is learning this information.
Connection with Company Mission
Another brief section to your strategic plan should be connecting the plan with the business’s mission. The plan should align with what your business strives to achieve. If the vision and mission statement do not align, consider reassessing the vision to better fit company mission guidelines. Any plan going forward with a company should be in the best interest of the company and it’s mission.
Next, you want to tell where you expect to be at the end and how you plan to get there. This will include an overview of the goals, strategies, objectives and tactics. It’s your job to explain the expected outcome, how you plan to get there, how you plan to measure it and any tools that can be utilized in the process.
This is a simple sheet that goes over the bigger details of the strategic plan. Be sure to identify both short term and long term goals. State what you want to achieve and how long you expect it to take. Then go into how your business can get on that trajectory to achieving goals that were set.
An analysis you’ll want to implement in your strategic plan is the SWOT analysis which stands for:
This will help you focus on what to pursue throughout your plan. You can determine the best course of action and opportunities to chase. It also evaluates what is going well and what has room for improvement as your business develops over the course of the plan.
Timeline and Budget
Lastly, go over the timeline and budget. Make sure your plan is steady before your get to this part to save yourself from doing any extra work. Every plan needs a timeline to ensure it’s staying on track and running smoothly. If you have room for a budget in your plan, include those details in this part of your strategic plan. This is where you can prioritize the finer details of your plan.
Your career consumes most of your daily lifestyle. Mornings, afternoons and sometimes even evenings can be spent behind a desk crunching away the tasks under a strict timeline. The work environment can often become a high-stress zone and have a negative impact on employees and their work ethic. Do yourself and other employees a favor by tapping into these tactics for a positive work environment.
Communication is the key to success behind any workplace. Effective communication provides transparency between various employee and management levels within a company. It’s extremely important for upper-level management to provide proper feedback to ensure better standards and goals of every employee. A surprising 5.9% of companies communicate goals daily, leaving the vast majority of companies with the risk of miscommunication. Open communication on a daily basis will lighten the atmosphere for more productivity and improvement in the workplace.
When you come into the office, it might be hard to move on from yesterday’s stress or put non-work related issues aside. This has an effect on your attitude in the workplace. Keeping a positive attitude at work is essential to a positive work environment. It’s pretty simple; be nice. Give compliments, hold the door open for someone, or ask a coworker to go to lunch with you. No matter what you leave behind when you come into work each day, promote kindness throughout your office for that positivity you seek.
- Patience & Flexibility
Workplace flexibility doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your standards and expectations. It basically sums down to your ability to adapt to the various situations within your office. Flexibility in the workplace is important for a positive environment at work to establish resourcefulness and initiative among employees on all levels.
- Daily Routines
Maintaining organization in the chaos of daily work breaks down to daily routines. With the right flow in a routine, a company can better organize to inflate productivity. Not only will a proper routine create better work ethic, but it will evolve the workplace with consistent strategies. A disciplined environment will help goals and deadlines be met without creating negativity in the office.
- Open-Door Policy
An open-door policy at work means that employees can approach a manager for whatever their need may be. This eliminates any negative barrier that might be hindering employees from effectively getting their work done or managing their time in the office. With an open-door policy, a company opens up communication between employees and managers while reducing fear or anxiety of approaching a higher level of authority.
A positive work environment breaks down to the comfortability, drive and work ethic that each employee has. Of course there are many other ways you could work towards a better environment for your office, but by starting with the basics you’ll be on the right track for the positive environment your workplace needs.
About Graham Zahoruiko
ORANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS LEADER FOR GREATER CORPORATE SHAREHOLDER WEALTH, PUBLIC BENEFIT AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Graham Zahoruiko is a transformational growth leader with over 25 years of entrepreneurial C-Level leadership experience. His objective is to help companies unlock unprecedented growth and increase shareholder value, while delivering an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) that far exceeds the cost of any restructuring or reorganization. He does this by delivering a highly polished “game changing” solution strategy, executable materials, and team mentoring throughout the implementation phase.
The key foundational element of any organization is the right culture. When precisely positioned, the right company values and work environment lead to independent, empowered, self-reflective teams that have both the initiative and the capability to drive new revenue sources, generate higher profitability, and lower operational costs.
The assignments Graham Zahoruiko takes on vary widely based on the specific needs of the companies he works for, but some examples include: interim leadership; positioning and executing an initiative or project; cultural improvements; project and process management; leadership development; growth initiatives; cost efficiencies and improvements; personal career performance coaching; innovation modeling; entrepreneurship; and mentoring.
For a number of years, Graham Zahoruiko has contemplated how he can do the work that he loves but continue to add more purpose, meaning and value. Consultants tend to push harder and harder on the obsession for long-term value for clients.
Combining meaningful work and a meaningful “public benefit” certainly would be ideal. Near and dear to Graham Zahoruiko has always been family, children and disadvantaged. As a background in organizational effectiveness, change management and transformation ideally prepares one for leading through change, Graham is the Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation (www.oepbc.org). Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation delivers high value project-based management consulting services for greater corporate shareholder wealth, public benefit and social responsibility. Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation’s own advocacy efforts focus on families, children and disadvantaged.
While working for a multi-billion dollar energy company, Graham proposed and led an effort to transform a $160 million dollar division with 750 employees and its 4th C-level leader in 5 years from a “cost center” into a “growth center”.
The implementation of this plan involved several key shifts, both in mindset and operation. The first step was the launch of a new culture through the development of a “Cultural Playbook”, which promoted a more innovative generation of employees empowered with the skills and ability to lead the company into a future of unprecedented growth. Graham Zahoruiko also conceptualized, developed, and implemented a QBR (Quarterly Business Review) program and accompanying materials for all senior leaders, resulting in a more consistent reporting format that improved corporate communication, business line health, and tracking mechanisms for leader reviews. This program increased shareholder value by $731 million. Graham also created a C-level leadership presentation for the CEO and Board on the subject of “game changing – change the lens/perspective of thinking” which outlined “the pitch, the proof and the value” of a $1 billion investment. This new thinking derived a 59% IRR, a significant impact on the organization’s P/E Ratio, and a $3.4 billion increase in shareholder value.
When working with a $250 million healthcare company, Graham Zahoruiko found the organization with a global business division comprised of over 350 hands-on IT professionals with expertise in cloud technologies, networking, applications hosting, storage, and disaster recovery. The $60 million division was facing declining revenue.
After rebuilding morale and mentoring the team on leadership and entrepreneurship, Graham helped improve gross margins by up to 40%, and net margins by 17% (12% to 29%) with the addition of $20 million in new revenue bookings. Operations were restructured through offshore centralization, and processes were formalized for the prevention of future revenue and cost leakages. The sales pipeline subsequently grew from $0 to $110M.
Graham Zahoruiko also led the formation a Cloud Software Services sub-business unit, and re-positioned aging software IP into a new offering centered on healthcare data access archiving, reducing ongoing client legacy software costs by 80%. The new release resulted in $15M in revenue opportunity and a recurring revenue stream. The company’s subsequent operating plan focused on continued margin improvement, better client value, innovation, and long-term sustainability of continued revenue growth.
Leveraging very early roots as a repeat start-up entrepreneur, Graham Zahoruiko is an independent management consultant helping leaders improve shareholder value through strategic improvements and transformations in culture, entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth. He has a talent for balancing the business and financial impact of decisions with the people side of the equation.
Northeastern University (Business Management): 1996
Saint John’s Preparatory (General Studies): 1990
Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout Award): 1987