The little things don’t make headlines in leadership books. They don’t get the social media shares or the platform recognition of major organization accomplishments. But the little things – those day in and day out leadership patterns and rapport you build with your team – take your organization to the next level. Neglecting the little things will undermine whatever great success your team may achieve.
Big things matter too. Leadership requires you to do the big things. It’s your job and your responsibility to provide the direction, to set a compelling vision for an achievable future. But the little daily things you do will make the difference in your team’s commitment to that vision.Neglecting the little things will undermine whatever great success your team may achieve. Click To Tweet
Here are 9 small things you can do that will make a big difference.
1. Get out with your people.
The press of leadership demands can easily remove you from your team. You are in important meetings all the time; you’re solving problems behind closed doors; you are meeting with external partners. If you aren’t intentional, you will become invisible to your people. Make it a part of your leadership routine to talk to the people you are leading. Walk around. Say hello. Say thank-you. Have coffee with others. Ask people to join you for lunch. If your team is big, you may not know everyone deeply but you can still engage with many.
2. Ask personal questions.
Whenever possible, ask team members personal questions. I have learned so much on elevators asking simple questions like “What are you working on today?” “What do you love most about your work?” “How is your family?” “If I asked your spouse, would they say they are glad you are working here?” If you run out of time, ask people to follow up with an email. Personal questions create an environment for a healthy team.Stories connect people and teams in a powerful way Click To Tweet
3. Share personal stories.
Stories connect people and teams in a powerful way. They make leaders real people with real lives. Share stories of your family, the personal challenges of leadership, and how the mission and vision of your organization is lived out in your life in personal ways. This helps you seem part of the team and not above the team.
4. Know the servants on your team.
Right now, there are people on your team whose work goes unnoticed most days. They are unseen but critical to your organization’s success. Know who they are and what they do. Go out of your way to thank them. Drop by to see them. Let them know that you value them and the work they do.
5. Be personal with those that are hurting.
Make sure there are systems in place so you know those on your team who are going through personal or family crisis. When you hear, pick up the phone and call or go see them. Pray with them. Let them know you care personally for them.
6. Ask for forgiveness.
We all make mistakes as a leader. Maybe you spoke harshly to someone in a meeting. Maybe you blamed someone for a mistake instead of taking responsibility. Whatever the reason, if you need to ask for forgiveness, ask quickly and sincerely.
7. When hard decisions are made, be more available.
All leaders have to make hard decisions. It comes with leadership. It may be a reorganization that personally impacts people, an economic challenge that may require job deletions, or a leader you had to let go for moral or ethical reasons. Whatever the cause, when a hard decision is made, be more available than ever. Communicate more often. Walk around more often. Engage more. It’s our natural tendency to avoid people when things are hard. Do the opposite. Let your team know that you are not blind to the impact of hard decisions.
8. Ask for personal prayer when needed.
If you need prayer, ask for it. Sometimes it may be a personal need that you can’t share publicly, but you can still ask for prayer. If you can share specifics, do. Letting your team pray for you specifically will be a wonderful gift for you and for them.
9. Pray with others.
Whenever possible, make it a habit to pray with others. A leader shares about a crisis or an opportunity, pray with them. If a team member is hurting, pray with them. If someone new joins the team, pray with them. If someone is leaving the team, pray with them.
What are some other small things that make a big difference?