It’s almost May now, and you’re starting to feel a little restless. A little stale, maybe. You’ve had your head down and your team focused for 120 days straight, and with the days now getting longer and the temptation to start “coasting” getting even stronger, you’ve hit a critical time of the year. It’s time to do a little spring cleaning.
You need to freshen up your leadership, so you can keep your team hitting on all cylinders.
And here are 10 easy ways to do that, starting NOW:
- Hit the Road – Get out of your office more frequently; conduct “ask the boss” meetings at remote locations. Meet individually with as many people as you can. Ask a lot of questions, and then listen. Your staff will wonder what’s got into you, and that’s a very good thing.
- Have a “Job-Switch” Week – Pick a week in May, and arrange to have staff “switch” jobs during that week. You’ll love the look of fear on some people’s faces, and it’s a great way to teach “respect for the work”.
- Create a May “Stretch Goal” and Find Some $$ to Fund It – Find a metric you’ve been hitting with regularity. Raise the bar to a more difficult level for the month. Then, find a little budget money someplace and fund an incentive to hit it. Get some hoopla going about it (perhaps when you’re on the road…).
- Have a Day-long Off-site Team Meeting and Outing – Here’s a little secret; it’s better to do these earlier in the year than later. Why? You have more time to actually use all the great feedback you get in time to effect the current year. And, it recharges the batteries for the stretch run in the fall.
- Find a Fault, and Make a Big Deal Out of It – This is one of my favorites, because there’s always something that you can improve. Always. Just find it, and then, at a staff meeting, make a point to let everyone know you are not pleased. A little table pounding is helpful too, but not too forcefully. You don’t want your staff to think you are going “Network” on them.
- Do Something Unexpected (like singing, maybe?) – May was my favorite time to break out in song during my weekly meetings and conference calls. It is an excellent way to make a point, if you can carry a tune. If not, you can always pull out your iPad or iPod and just lip sync to Bruce Springsteen’s “Promised Land” or some other anthem to jazz up the team. Or, just ask for a little more cowbell.
- Ask Your Staff for “5 Things That We Should Stop Doing” – We’re always asking what we SHOULD be doing; when do we ever ask if there are things that we should STOP doing? This is a great time of year to do that, and it will always elicit some excellent and actionable feedback.
- X-Out the Last Half of Your “To-Do’ List – There’s always going to be things on your list that date back to January. Just face it, if they REALLY needed to be done, you would have done them already. Dump ’em.
- Have a “I Wanna Hear Real Voices” Day – Declare any e-mail (or texting, or anything else electronic) “off-limits” for one day. The only way you can communicate is person to person, or over the phone. It’s a great communications training AND a team building exercise, plus, it cleans out your in-box – at least for one day.
- Don’t Forget YOU Set the Tone – This is a great time for a personal gut check – are you setting the right tone? Are you showing “staleness”. Is your focus lagging? Is your energy low? It’s time for you to step it up, and keep that bounce in your step, the smile in your face, and the confidence in your tone and demeanor.
Have a great rest of the year – lead well!