Leaders: Ask Your Team This One Simple Question

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Leaders:  Ask Your Team This One Simple Question

Guest Post by Todd Garland

( first posted at: http://venturefizz.com/blog/leaders-ask-your-team-one-simple-question )

Recently, on my way to work, I wrote our team at BuySellAds the following email:

It was a very honest, innocent, and spur of the moment thought that I had, to send the whole team this email. Turns out, it’s probably the most leadership worthy thing I’ve done all year. There are a number of ways to be a leader, and I’m sure every leader out there has read some post titled “10 things that make a leader a true leader.”

The point is, sometimes being a leader means caring. Caring about what it is that makes the team you work with feel good. Caring what it is that has them a bit frustrated and figuring it out before it stays bottled up too long. Caring for 2 seconds about something other than the company, yourself, or your investors (BSA doesn’t have any investors). Caring about any personal challenges they are going through, if they are willing to share.

I say “leader” and not CEO, because this really applies to any person who is asking a team to work hard for them.

Do the world a favor, and ask people around you what you can do to make their lives easier. (If you don’t actually care, then don’t waste your time. If you’re not going to follow through and make an effort to help them out, then don’t waste your/their time.)

But if you do care, and you are going to follow through, take a moment and ask your team a very simple question. Not for profit. Not in exchange for anything. Not because I told you to. Because you want to be a leader.

So, when are you going to send out a similar e-mail to those you have been entrusted to lead?  

Todd Garland is the founder of BuySellAds and lives in Boston with his wife and chocolate lab Rusty. For more, follow him @toddo

Will you please do me a favor – when you send all of your staff an e-mail similar to Todd’s would you please forward it to me also?  bob.tiede@ccci.org   Thank you!

Which of your friends would thank you if you forwarded this post to them?

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John Wodka   |   18 September 2012   |   Reply

Greatness! By nature, most people do not want to be pioneers…not even a pioneer in caring. Knowing that your leader cares makes it much easier to put your effort and your reputation on the line for a leader who cares…and has your back.

leadingwithquestions   |   19 September 2012   |  

So well stated John! Leaders who care will attract and retain much greater talent!

Jann   |   18 September 2012   |   Reply

Loved this post…and immediately went and sent a similar email. I am looking forward to the emails I will get back from them tomorrow…I really love that this is so tangible. As a leader, I want my team to know that I sincerely want what is best for them…and no better way to find out what would make their life better than to ASK!

leadingwithquestions   |   19 September 2012   |  

Jann you just made my day! The real key to our personal growth/development is to “try stuff” If the recipe for the new dish looks really good–don’t just cut out or print the recipe, but instead actually make it for dinner!. “Just Do It” and see what happens! Jann please comment again on “what happened?”

terry morgan   |   19 September 2012   |   Reply

A big part of our job right now is to “help” others succeed, and we are asking similar questions because of that. I hope that I can remember this important concept in the future!

leadingwithquestions   |   19 September 2012   |  

Terry a big pat on the back for asking your staff what you can do to help them succeed? Terry would you be willing to write a “Guest Post” to share your experience and questions with all of my readers?