How to continuously improve your work and everyday life The term Kaizen - which…
The common denominator of a team
One of our customers took up her new position as a manager two years ago, in the middle of the lockdown: she got to know her international team only virtually at first. Her onboarding took place via Zoom and until recently there were colleagues and employees whom she had not personally met.
Nevertheless, she managed to bring the team together in such a way that they stick together and cooperate well despite the virtual setting. Her good, attentive, targeted communication and a huge portion of trust where crucial in establishing herself as the true leader she is. She demanded agile, self-determined work while giving the direction and the team moved along with her. The results even exceeded expectations.
How did she do it? Value-oriented leadership is her success factor.
Leading by example
As a manager, our client is aware of her function as a role model; her words always match her actions. «Walk your talk!» is her motto. In doing so, she has built credibility and authority. Her values are the foundation for this coherence. Her actions are binding.
Some managers forget that employees constantly observe them: they evaluate what they experience and, depending on their dealings, either they are inspired or, if they don’t agree with what they see, they object. The supervisor is always a point of reference. Therefore, a manager must should be aware of what they portray and what their decisions and actions reflect.
👉 First, ask yourself: Can you be considered as a role model?
👉 Then compare self-perception and external perception. There are often discrepancies that only become apparent through neutral observation and external feedback.
👉 Always stay true to your principles and values - your inner compass is the guide.
Creating a common understanding – what values does the team represent and how should these values be interpreted?
Integrity, trust and personal responsibility as well as respect are very important to our client.
She works along these values and would like to firmly anchor them in her team as well. She therefore invited her team to a 2-day workshop. These values are to represent them as a team and determine their common direction. Using the example of Budo values and the code of conduct of the samurai, we have come together a step closer to their meaning and importance.
Our client has been working for years in the telecommunications fast-moving sector: she has got used to the high speed, quick decisions, and transformations. She can easily work and deliver under time and deadline pressure. She knows from experience that something is always changing: technologies, competition, systems and processes and, more than ever, the working environment, which is characterized by scattered teams and outsourced tasks to partner companies.
Navigating her direct reports and their teams in these waters is therefore sometimes challenging.
Her communication must be clear, essential, goal-oriented, motivating, and easy for everyone to grasp – no matter in which corner of the world her teams are located. All the more so, when it comes to expectations and the definition of goals in connection with values.
Embracing following values, she places her employees at the top of her priorities.
She has a clear line, discerning between what she supports and what she doesn’t, and she would never overstep her ethical and moral standards. She also sets clear goals trying do the right thing, at the right time.
She often has to make quick decisions. She has learned over the years that she can both use her rational and emotional level for this decision-making, and the more experience she has gained, the more she trusts her intuition. Value-oriented leadership in her case is also characterized by this harmony between reason and gut feeling.
👉 Notice how the more experience, you gain on one field, the more you can trust your intuition. Practice, improve, train, trust your capabilities.
👉 This is how you can check how good your intuition score: Pay attention to your first spontaneous feeling when making your decisions and compare what result you come to when you logically weigh up the facts at hand. Then match if reason and intuition reached the same conclusion.
In the past year, our client’s employees proved that they were efficient and productive despite working from home, even without direct control or office structure. They worked across different locations and in some cases made the impossible possible – the fact that business goals were not only achieved, but they were exceeded, speaks for itself.
When our customer took up her position, she consciously decided to give trust – like in an advanced payment. She paid in trust, observed, got to know and appreciate the team day after day – after six months, her trust paid off. With every launch and with every release – no matter what bottlenecks arise; everyone goes the extra mile. She only needs to describe the issue and there are already suggestions for a solution and mutual support.
She established a team that trusts one another, that shares the same values, the same beliefs, the same interests and the same mission. They have each other’s back.
👉 Focus on results, not working hours. Are the assigned tasks/projects delivered on time? Are deadlines and agreements kept? Does communication work on all channels? Then there is no reason to manage the schedules of your employees and to constantly check their agenda.
Micromanagement is not necessary as long as goals and expectations are defined and kept: Our client’s employees work independently, take responsibility and get involved. She sets the direction, sets the framework and is there when she is needed. She sees herself as the one who is there to make and carry out decisions, remove obstacles, pave the way for her team; she is also there to encourage and challenge. The more she empowers her team, the more they become proactive. Win win.
👉 Give your employees freedom, hand over responsibility and also share your personal thoughts or concerns. Trust your employees!
➡️ Respect / Appreciation
No matter who she talks to, she treats everyone with respect: CEO or assistant, colleague, suppliers, employees, customers or jobseekers. She shows genuine interest in her employees; she knows their strengths so that they can thrive. Appreciative.
In the event of differences of opinion, she moderates the discussion with fairness and tolerance until a decision is on the table that everyone is willing to accept: she then goes though; As a result, she has established a natural authority for herself, her employees trust her decisions, are willing to take responsibility and drive them – intrinsically motivated, they deliver top performance.
This value-based leadership is particularly attractive to the youngest generations because they find in it what they are looking for: meaning in their work, appreciation and transparency.
👉 Create a meaningful work environment that helps your team members grow both as employees and as persons. Prioritize the well-being of your team.
👉Reflect the evolution of the working world and thus the corporate culture with openness by supporting the career goals of your employees and understanding their needs.
👉 Communicate with transparency and empathy. Keep your promises.
In times of change, employees want security. Managers can offer this security and support, despite constant change, by living their values: And that is exactly what distinguishes leaders. They create a trusting corporate environment, matching words with deeds, and follow clear principles.
Why are values important for everyone?
Back then for a samurai or today in a company, in society but also in our very personal environment?
- Values determine what we think, say and do
- Values help us to grow and develop
- Values help us shape the reality we want to experience.
- Our decisions reflect our values and beliefs
- Values support us in achieving our individual or collective goals
- Values create community.
However, values are expressed in words that everyone can interpret differently – so that values are lived under the same common denominator, it is therefore worth talking about them and defining them within a group.
How about you?
You can get clarity about how you define your values and what you want to achieve with your team in a Budo-workshop: the value-based Asian martial arts systems can serve as a source of inspiration and at the same time be a way for your own team to full-immerse in the topic. Acting like a samurai in business means dealing with integrity, building and maintaining a credible image through your actions: the way to get there is to be armed with positivity, staying true to your commitments, constantly developing your skills and thus cultivating strength of character.