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31 Days to Becoming a Better Leader


Day #13: Team CompetenciesSteve Jobs on Teams

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. – George Patton

You have created your strategic plan, right? If not, stop and go back to do it now. It’s important to have the end in mind before starting the journey. Be sure that you are on the right pathway and have laid down the tracks for the journey.

In the template you got when you purchased the action guide, there’s a title for each component in the strategic plan. One of those titles is “Competencies.” If you want to accomplish your goals, then inventory the skills needed in making those goals happen.

Are you seeing how important having a strategy is for getting to where you want to be…for how you make your vision become reality? It’s what I call, “Paying the upfront cost.” This upfront cost is far less that the backend cost when you have to undo things that were done in error and backtrack to where you started and begin again, which is a waste of time and money.

In this action guide, there’s a template for recruiting team members for any type of group. You can certainly make your own template and use it for boards, committees, staff, advisory groups, and other types of teams.

Down one side of the page, you list the specific skills needed, and draw a line down the middle. On the other side you list names of potential candidates for the particular group. The skills list is numbered. Go down the list of people and identify the skill they bring to the organization and put the corresponding line number by their name. Some names will have more than one number. Prioritize the people with the most needed competencies and begin to make an offer to join your team.

Here’s the outline for the process:

  • Describe the position – on a staff, it might be something like marketing director, and on a board of directors, it might be treasurer, etc.
  • Identify the specific role and responsibilities for that person – to create and implement marketing strategies that will increase our revenue by 25% with no increased costs, as an example for a marketing director.
  • Determine if there’s a culture fit – review your values and guiding principles and see if they match the candidate’s values and principles. This step is often skipped with dire consequences.
  • Establish the performance expectations – describe what this person will accomplish in a specific period of time. This element gives an opportunity for mentoring and correcting along the way.

Assimilating and leading a high-performing team means that you become a high-performing leader.

Next: Day #14 – Roles and Responsibilities 

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