If you’re looking for the easiest way to improve OR limit your production, look no further than your team. The more you invest in the people who work with you, the more they will be able to produce. Your team needs to understand they are valued, not just as numbers on a spreadsheet but as contributors to shared success and key components of achieving better every day.
All of you, as a group and as individuals need to invest in yourselves and each other. Challenge yourself and each other to be the best versions of yourselves. Grow and learn every day. Invest in your strengths, and help others build on theirs.
Don’t just challenge your people to be a generic sort of “better” though. Challenge them in specific ways to innovate, not to change for change’s sake, but to look for ways to improve where ideas and procedures could be better. Strive to stay a step ahead, on the cutting edge. Make fighting against complacency part of your team’s culture.
Create and foster opportunities for real collaboration. While there’s something to be said for working alone, there are times when two (or more) minds really are better than one. When you find people on your team with real synergy, look for ways to harness that creative power to create opportunities and make all of you better.
Find people who are passionate about what they do. If you have a person on your team really struggling with their role, try to find a way to inspire some passion in them. Sometimes our motivation has to come from outside The Job, but, whatever it is, look for ways to ignite that spark.
But enthusiasm for the job is just the beginning. The next level is to bring a team together that is passionate about working together for a goal. Sure, there will be conflict, personality clashes, and disagreements, but a good leader can find a way to channel that energy into positive results.
Learn to chase the impossible while being reasonable. This may sound like a dichotomy, but you really can chase dreams with both feet on the ground. There’s an art to this, a nuanced strategy that sometimes takes time to tweak in order to find the sweet spot for your team in your situation. It’s a work in progress, so let it unfold. Don’t stifle progress with demands for immediate perfection.
Finally, and this may be the most important, you need people with the right mindset. If you have a team full of responsible problem solvers, you will find a lot of “impossible” becoming “done.” However, if your team is stacked with people who can see what’s “wrong” but struggle to offer ideas on how to fix it, then you will constantly be stuck in a loop where some people suggest ideas and others shoot them down before anything of note ever gets done. Nurture “doers” and shed the amateur critics on your team. Everyone will be better off for it.
Elie Hirschfeld is a NY real estate developer.