Two weeks back we had a leadership training session. The instructor suggested that managers and team members alike should share their expectations with each other. The exercise is supposed to foster trust and transparency. I thought that was a really cool idea.
At the same time I found that it possibly could be a recipe for disaster. What if my team members didn’t live up to my expectations or what if I didn’t live up to theirs? What if the values in the expectations were not in line with my own.
I believe it is not right to expect things from people even though in a company people are expected to do their jobs. I feel one should hold themselves to higher ideals. I’ve come across lists which range from ideas such as “I expect people to Get Stuff Done (GSD)” to “I expect people to own the number.” I honestly believe that happy engaged team members will automatically do that and more and it does not need to be shoved down their throats. A team’s dedication to doing their best should be a reflection of their leaders and environment.
Perhaps it is naive of me to treat my team as grown ups and trust they will more often than not do the right. I’ve found that if you don’t have expectations people often surprise you. So, instead of having expectations I decided to share things with my team that are important to me in a post on our wiki. I recognize that most of these are non-tangible things but they are a beacon of behavior I hold in high regard. Here they are:
What is Important to Me
- Know what you’re supposed to do or where to go (if not, clarify)
- Work hard but work smart – Brute force is not always the answer, neither is simply activity.
- Strive for Excellence – Coach Wooden and Jonathan Seagull are great examples
- Get Help if You Need It (and Take the Help when it is offered)
- Continue Learning Outside of the Office (for your own benefit)
- Grok ATTACKs (Our Team Values)
- Be a Dual Citizen – Learn to wear your team hat and company hat
- You’re always an Ambassador (of your team, your department, your company)
- Live Team and Team Credit – Understand It takes 10 hands to score a basket
- Lead (or Learn to Lead)
- Be Here Because You Want to (Not Because You Have To)
- Just do it! (Everyone is a nay sayer, very few people know better or have the will or capacity to go the distance – swing for the fences)
So there you have it – a list of things I feel as a leader are important for my team to be mindful of. It’s by no means a complete list and these are not expectations – just broad guidelines based on my belief system. As time goes by I’ll continue to curate this list. That’s a promise or I probably am not doing a good job at #3 or #5.
What do you think? What in your mind are things marketing leaders should expect of their team members?