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7 things successful teams do every day

7 things successful teams do every day

When was the last time you had fun, loved the people you worked with and got an insane amount of work done? Thinking back, do you think it luck? How could you make it happen again? It might have been luck. But it probably wasn’t. Successful teams begin with good leaders bringing on the “right people”. The right people embody the habits, values, and attitudes that are positive reinforcements for everyone on the team. Check out the list of things these people do every day to make their teams successful.

1. They do what they love.

What made Steve Jobs succeed? What made his teams able to continually innovate new products that built the world’s most successful tech and lifestyle brand? As the late Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Loving what you do helps you push through all the tedious and boring – essential – tasks that lead to success.

Loving what you do doesn’t mean only choosing tasks you like, but rather about caring about something enough to persevere through everything to achieve your goals.

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2. They work less and play more at work.

Being busy is almost a mark of achievement in this day and age. However, output is more important than input. For example, Tower Pedal Board’s 5-hour workday helped the company grow even faster because the founder’s targets were clear. How can you do more with less time?

Try using the Pomodoro technique to break down your tasks. For tasks that need a larger block of concentrated effort, give yourself a 30-minute break after finishing. Make yourself a coffee, go for a walk, or play a game of football with your team members.

3. They control their hours.

Successful teams help every team member work in the most optimal way. Successful people are productive because they are in tune with their working styles. Instead of checking when people arrive at the office, require that team members deliver their work on time.

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Successful teams give members the autonomy to do what makes them most efficient. When working in a bigger company, make sure you have transparent communication channels with your team to coordinate meetings and deadlines.

4. They invest just as much into life outside work.

Being passionate about work isn’t the same as making work your life. Successful teams have people that constantly bring energy and inspiration from outside of work. Productive team members put as much passion into their hobbies as they do their work. Because they have time take care of their health and personal interests, they return to the office recharged.

Don’t think of your sports league, photography club, cooking class, or a good night’s sleep as “bonus” if you have time. Think of these as essential parts of your life that make you happy and more effective.

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5. They hold themselves accountable to goals.

Successful teams also hold themselves accountable to targets. Targets are measurable goals that can be tracked, day by day, week by week, month by month. Planning these goals keeps everyone focused on delivering their part to succeed together.

How can you start with your company? Start by listing your own goals for today, the next week, the month and one year out. Share your list with your team members and schedule a follow-up review by the end of a project or work cycle.

6. They value transparency.

Traditional corporate culture may value hierarchy and “discretion” but in the digital age, transparency builds trust. Sharing learnings and struggles with team members is the best way to earn the respect of others and rally their support. Working as a team should be constructive (sometimes friendly competition is good too!).

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7. Everyone buys into the big picture.

Good companies know how to break down teams to deliver on projects effectively. Great companies have teams to deliver their projects in a way that brings value to the company as a whole.

It’s easy to become focused on the details and only the perspective of your tasks at hand. Different departments will compete for limited resources in order to perform well. Truly great teams know how to coordinate and share resources in a way that allows every team to deliver.

Featured photo credit: Margarida CSilva via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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