Do you know what are the 8 things your TEAM want from you ?

Good reading in HBR about Eight Things Your Employees Want From You.  Melissa Raffoni wrote this for the Harvard Business Review blog

The job of a manager / leader is to make it practical for people to succeed. When you do this, everybody wins.
This is not rocket science and by doing that people will TRUST you.

I would add that this is key to simplify the work of the team by applying some key principles as KISS (Keep it Simple & Stupid), FOCUS and ALIGNMENT. We’ve applied these principles in all what we do within my Team @ Microsoft Belgium and I must say I feel strong energy and commitment from my Team behind these principles.

By doing that, you give more space and energy for the people to deliver with EXECUTION EXCELLENCE.

I would add that this is key to create a culture for open feedback. We’ve succeded in doing that within my team by finding some inspiration within the ONE MINUTE MANAGER.

Finally, this is also key to create enough space and let people grow within this space. To make this happen, this is key to let people take their own responsibility / acountability to act and achieve the defined goals. To help people on this, we did very good training to develop PERSONAL LEADERHIP of people. A good tool to coach people development is to apply SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP.

Here-below a short summary of this list from HBR.

1. Tell me my role, tell me what to do, and give me the rules.

This is not Micromanaging, this is clear direction regarding the rules of the games (clear framework and parameters) and then let’s play the GAME.

2. Discipline my coworker who is out of line.

Hold people accountable in a way that is fair but makes everyone aware of what is and isn’t acceptable.

3. Get me excited.

About the company, the product, the job ….

4. Don’t forget to praise me.

Motivate employees by leveraging their strengths …

5. Don’t scare me.

They really don’t need to know about everything that worries you …

6. Impress me.

Strong leaders impress their staffs in a variety of ways. This can be courage, creativity, a characteristic that others don’t have and the company needs.

7. Give me some autonomy.

Give them something interesting to work on; and give them space.

8. Set me up to win.

Nobody wants to fail. Indecisive leaders who keep people in the wrong roles, set unrealistic goals, keep unproductive team members, or change direction unfairly just frustrate everybody.

ARE you agree with this list ? DO you see other key-points ?


Situational Leadership : How to implement this approach in your team ? via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

We’ve implemented the Situational Leadership within my Team at Microsoft.

The principle is that managers must use different leadership styles depending on the situation.

The model allows you to analyze the needs of the situation you’re in, and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on employees’ competences in their task areas and commitment to their tasks, your leadership style should vary from one person to another. You may even lead the same person one way sometimes, and another way at other times


Take a look at the Video of Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager)

Here-below more details but just read the book of Ken Blanchard

Behavior of the Leader

S1 – Telling / Directing – High task focus, low relationship focus – leaders define the roles and tasks of the ‘follower’, and supervise them closely. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, so communication is largely one-way. For people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get them started.

S2 – Selling / Coaching</b> – High task focus, high relationship focus – leaders still define roles and tasks, but seeks ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader’s prerogative, but communication is much more two-way. For people who have some competence but lack commitment.   They need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced.   They also need support and praise to build their self-esteem, and involvement in decision-making to restore their commitment.

S3 – Participating / Supporting – Low task focus, high relationship focus – leaders pass day-to-day decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader facilitates and takes part in decisions, but control is with the follower. For people who have competence, but lack confidence or motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation.

S4 – Delegating – Low task focus, low relationship focus – leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved.   For people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.

Effective leaders are versatile in being able to move around the matrix according to the situation, so there is no style that is always right. However, we tend to have a preferred style, and in applying Situational Leadership you need to know which one that is for you. 

Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower can also be distinguished in 4 quadrants.
       Development Level of the Follower

       D4 – High Competence, High Commitment – Experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. May even be more skilled than the leader.
       D3 – High Competence, Variable Commitment – Experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone, or the motivation to do it well quickly.
       D2 – Some Competence, Low Commitment – May have some relevant skills, but won’t be able to do the job without help. The task or the situation may be new to them. 
       D1 – Low Competence, High Commitment – Generally lacking the specific skills required for the job in hand, but has the confidence and / or motivation to tackle it. 
      Similar to the leadership styles, the development levels are also situational.
      A person could be skilled, confident and motivated for one part of his/her job, but could be less competent for another part of the job.
      Blanchard and Hersey said that the Leadership Style (S1 – S4) of the leader must correspond to the Development level (D1 – D4) of the follower – and it’s the leader who adapts. By adopting the right style to suit the follower’s development level, work gets done, relationships are built up, and most importantly,
      the follower’s development level will rise to D4, to everyone’s benefit.

Steps in Situational Leadership. Process
        Make an overview per employee of his/her tasks
        Assess the employee on each task (D1…D4)
        Decide on the leadership (management) style per task (S1…S4)
        Discuss the situation with the employee
        Make a joint plan.
        Follow-up, check and correct.

Strengths of the Situational Leadership model. Benefits
        Easy to understand
        Easy to use

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ONE MINUTE MANAGER: How to inspire your team with this approach ?, via @davidmerzel’s BLOG

I’ve explained the concept of ONE MINUTE MANAGER to my team and suggested them to read the book of Ken Blanchard on this.

Feedback from my team was very positive

I really like this book as it is so simple and that you can read if fast and then you can write next pages during your life ! 

So,  we are implemeting  this approach within my TEAM and I think this works. The One Minute Manager reveals three fundamental concepts:

  • One Minute Goal Setting—Understand the importance of clear goals
  • One Minute Praisings—Learn how to help people reach their potential
  • One Minute Reprimanding—Learn how to correct poor performance and keep people on track

Take a look at this Video of Ken Blanchard explaining shortly this concept.

Here-below, more details but to know more, read the book …

One Minute Goal Setting

  1. “Agree on your goals;
  2. See what good behavior looks like;
  3. Write out each of your goals on a single sheet of paper using less than 250 words;
  4. Read and re-read each goal, which requires only a minute or so each time you do it;
  5. Take a minute every once in a while out of your day to look at your performance, and
  6. See whether or not your behavior matches your goal.” [ref01]

One Minute Praisings

  1. “Tell pople up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing;
  2. Praise people immediately;
  3. Tell prople what they did right, be specific;
  4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there;
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel;
  6. Encourage them to do more of the same;
  7. Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their succes in the organization.” [ref01

One Minute Reprimands

  1. Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms;
  2. Reprimand people immediately;
  3. Tell people what hey did wrong, be specific;
  4. Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong, and in no uncertain terms;
  5. Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel;
  6. Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side;
  7. Remind them how much you value them;
  8. Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation;
  9. Realize that when the reprimand is over, it’s over.

We are also implementing the Situational Leadership, within my Team.

4 Tips to create more enguagement from your TEAM

I don’t know if you have ever worked with a micro-manager?

This is someone who thinks he or she needs to be involved in everything that happens within the company.

These leaders are closing out the talents of others by not divesting themselves from the day-to-day problem-solving activities of the company.

Great leaders let go of the day-to-day, problem-solving activities of the company.

Rather, they choose to maximize strategic and relationship-building efforts.

The majot risk of micromanagement is  disengagement.

Fundamentally, it is a state of distance from one’s work.

A disengaged employee puts in time but little else, and his apathy affects not only his own productivity but that of his colleagues.

Because a consistent pattern of micromanagement tells an employee you don’t trust his work or his judgment, it is a major factor in triggering disengagement.

By contrast, engaged employees are more likely to show up to work, to stay with a firm longer, and to be more productive while they’re on the job.

Interesting to read within Gallup research that highly engaged teams average 18% higher productivity and 12% greater profitability than the least engaged teams.

The good news is that you, as a manager, have enormous influence over your direct reports’ engagement levels.

So what can you do to increase their engagement and hence their productivity? For starters, you can take a page from the Gallup playbook and make a practice of building on employees’ strengths.

My take-out is 4 tips to create more enguagement from your team :  

– Say you have a direct report who rarely submits sales reports on time or fills them out correctly. Ask yourself, “At what tasks does this person excel?” Maybe he’s great at troubleshooting customer complaints. Or he’s a consistent source of creative ideas for the next promotional effort. Whatever his strengths, think about ways to build on them so that they can add more value to your organization. At the same time, see if you can minimize or redistribute some of the work at which he’s less successful. This is not always easy to implement but this is key to be flexible !

• Be clear about performance expectations for new hires. As they grow more comfortable in their roles, lessen your direct supervision of their work. I realy like the ONE MINUTE MANAGER approach for this. We’ve implemeted this approach within my TEAM and I think this works. The One Minute Manager reveals three fundamental concepts:

  • One Minute Goal Setting—Understand the importance of clear goals
  • One Minute Praisings—Learn how to help people reach their potential
  • One Minute Reprimanding—Learn how to correct poor performance and keep people on track

• If you find yourself feeling consistently negative about a particular employee’s performance, check that you’re not falling into the set-up-to-fail syndrome described by Insead-affiliated management scholars Jean-François Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux. This syndrome is marked by a downward performance spiral. The manager, expecting poor performance from the employee, starts noticing only mistakes and overlooking or minimizing successes. To avoid this pattern, regularly challenge your perception about the employee by asking yourself: What are the facts about her work? Is it as bad as I’ve been thinking? Of course, it may be that her performance is so bad that you’ll have to let her go. But in some cases, adjusting your lens might reveal that she’s actually doing some worthwhile work.

• You don’t want to create a culture that says you’re always right, and the employees are usually or always wrong. So invite employees to challenge your opinions. Over time, as they grow more comfortable in this role, they’ll feel freer to discuss any performance concerns they have with you.