Leading Your Team With Bold Communication, Part 5
In this issue of the Executive Report, we will wrap up our series on “Strategies for Bold Communication To Change Your Team” using the SPICE acronym. First, though, I want to highlight that the 2018 Metal Roofing Summit is now open for free registration. Held March 19-21 in Piqua, Ohio, this year’s topics are all about ways to increase 1) Your lead generation; 2) Your sales; and 3) Your ability to recruit, work with, and sell to the Millennial Generation. Please visit the Metal Roofing Summit website for details and free online registration. As always, this is the premier event for home improvement and roofing contractors focused on value-added sales of metal roofing and other products.
So, in Issue 88 of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report, we began discussing how to Lead With SPICE. SPICE strategies achieve bold communication that will change your team. In that issue, we looked at the “S” of SPICE – being Strategic in all that you do, say, or write – making sure that everything has a purpose and that that purpose builds toward your organization’s mission and goals. We discussed having a purpose that changes the world to be a better place.
In Issue 90, we looked at how to make our messages be Profound – the “P” of SPICE. We talked about ways to ensure that our messages are carefully thought through in order to have the maximum impact on their recipients.
In Issue 91, we looked at the “I” of SPICE, which stands for Inspirational. In order to influence the behavior of others, you need to inspire them to something great. You may recall how, in that issue, we looked at President Kennedy inspiring the nation to land on the moon, ending the Space Race with Russia which, prior to that, seemed to only have nuclear war as the end goal.
In Issue 93, the “C” of SPICE brought us to how to be Crystal Clear in our communications. We looked at how a failure of clarity can lead to disastrous results, and we also looked at the need to be Consistent in our communications.
Below are all of the components of SPICE. In this issue we’re looking at the “E” – the importance of being Empowering in our communications.
- Crystal Clear
Here we go!
Definition: To Equip, Permit, and Authorize.
The stakes of empowerment are high. There is a lot out there competing for everyone’s time and attention. If you do not empower the people of your organization to do organizational work, someone or something else will empower them to do other work. And, at that point, you will have lost them.
Want to know a couple of the first things to empower them if you don’t? Facebook and Instagram! Seriously, Facebook is always there with pretty much all of us. If your team members are not empowered by you to do things that benefit your organization, then Facebook will empower them to watch cat videos, share recipes, and leave snarky political comments on other peoples’ pages. Think I’m kidding? Spend some time looking at your team members’ Facebook activity, and look at the hours they are posting during.
Empowerment is actualization. This is where things happen. And we are covering it last not just because E is the last letter in SPICE but because you have to have all of the other things first before someone can be empowered to bring about the desired end result. You have to clearly communicate strategy, and do so in a profound and inspiring way, before you can begin to empower someone.
Sometimes, if you think a team member is burned out or has lost interest, the real problem is lack of empowerment. As humans, we all need new challenges – new bread if you will. God gave new bread – manna — to feed the Israelites each day … and the previous day’s bread spoiled. Fact is, as humans, we’re wired to want new challenges, and not to always be trying to eat yesterday’s spoiled bread.
Have you ever had a member of your team say “Well, I didn’t know if I was allowed to do that”? You may think that it’s a good thing that they were seeking permission before proceeding but, depending upon what it was that they were unsure about, it could be a very bad thing. For example, if part of your corporate strategy is exceptional care for your customers and yet one of your team members didn’t know they were allowed to spend twenty bucks to make a customer extraordinarily happy, that’s a problem!
Let’s think back to JFK and the space race for a moment. Nothing would have happened if all he would have done was cast the vision and the inspiration for our country to land on the moon. Vision and inspiration, alone in an organization don’t accomplish anything. He also then had to empower NASA – giving them the directive and the resources – to make it happen. Empowering is providing the directive and the resources so that your team can make things happen.
Key to success here folks … once you communicate the strategy of your organization … once you define what the desired outcome is, empower your people to make it happen. Give them the resources they need, the parameters to work within, and let them go!
And, while you’re being empowering, don’t forget to be encouraging as well – another great E word for our SPICE. A person will never perform better by being broken and torn down. You don’t beat or bully someone into better long-term performance. Ask yourself this – Am I adding value to my team or am I just expecting them to add value to me? When you’re trying to improve someone’s performance, encourage them not by harassing them over their failures but by reminding them of their successful futures.
My friends, whether it’s your business, your family, or another organization, don’t just be an onlooker along for the ride. Life’s too important and too short. Bold communication and leadership are what makes stellar, world-performance companies. So, I encourage you — lead and change your team with SPICE communication by being
- Crystal Clear (and Consistent)
- Empowering (and Encouraging)
Please feel free to email me with stories of your leadership experiences – we can learn and grow together! I hope that 2018 is off to a great start for you. I really hope to see you March 19-21 in Piqua, Ohio for the Metal Roofing Summit! Please let me know if you have any questions.