Updated: Sep 28, 2020
The desired, and somewhat nebulous, goal for many leaders is to be successful.
What does that mean? How is that quantified?
Here’s a foundational fact that must be considered: there is no success without the team’s success.
Let’s take a moment to describe a successful team picture: teammates begin work by activating or logging into their tools, and for the entirety of their shift are able to maneuver among these tools without hiccups or delays in order to quickly and efficiently serve the customers that cross their path.
Does that match your experience?
Authentic leaders realize their primary priority is to support their team.
Teams quickly become handicapped if their tools are not of the highest quality budget will allow. Tools must be up-to-date and maintained to prevent inability to accomplish responsibilities when the system crashes or becomes bogged down.
Don’t wait for things to stop working - be proactive.
Ways to be proactive and support team success include:
Create a cycle of upgrading hardware - for example, work with your IT team to institute a process for replacing computers every two years, whether or not they appear to need it (it is very possible to put older computers in a lesser trafficked area, such as customer kiosks, to prevent waste)
Maintain software subscriptions, which may require coordination with your IT colleagues for institutional packages
Keep an ear to the ground to identify problem areas - this can be done by asking frequent questions of your team about how their tools are working and providing a central tool (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Slack) where all team members can notify colleagues of a system being down and that a service ticket has been submitted (this allows you to get a feel for the problem programs that need to be upgraded or replaced)
Follow the industry through user boards, email listservs, and national conferences to investigate products that seem to be the standard used by similar institutions
If you’re in a physical building, set up and maintain at least one general work station so that if someone’s tools need to be upgraded or replaced they have a place to continue their work
Authentic leaders set up processes to be with their team to learn how their tools are upholding or impeding success.