How to Be Both a Leader & a Team Member

Bill Stainton May 12, 2015 4
How to Be Both a Leader & a Team Member

Big Leadership Question #1:

Can you be both the leader of, and an equal member of, a work team?

Big Leadership Question #2:

How?

Entrepreneur, success, money, motivation, inspiration, wealth, cash, investing, quotes, billionaire, career success, mindset, innovation, attitude, focus, skills, attraction, law of attraction, prosperous, abundance, business, net work, bio, story, grind, company, hard work, determination, goal setting, self growth, self development, personal growth, personal development, greatness, learning, financial, Mark Cuban, change, dream, videos, startups, millionaire, life, effective habits, opportunity, reading, failure, failing, persistent, progress, get rich, riches, how to make money online, how to be successful, how to reach your maximum potential, psychology, how to build your personal brand, how to meditate, meditation, living a radiant life, how to accomplish your goals, how to achieve your goals, how to create your own destiny, how to increase your productivity, how to be productive, energy, powerful, confidence

Via AmazonAWS.com

For those of you who are scratching your heads and saying, “What the hell is he talking about?” let me explain.

For 15 years I was the executive producer of a sketch comedy TV show called Almost Live! But for those same 15 years, I was also one of the writers, as well as one of the performers, for the show.

Now, as a writer and performer, I was on an equal level with the others on the team (equal in terms of rank, not ability; most of the others were better writers and performers than I, which is why I hired them). But as executive producer, I was the boss. And for the first few years, I didn’t know how to be both.

It’s a situation I see quite often with new leaders (and occasionally with not-so-new leaders)–particularly leaders who have been promoted from within the team. You know how it works: one day you’re just “one of the guys,” and the next, you’re the one who’s got to tell them that they can’t leave early so they can beat the traffic.

And it’s especially tough when, as in my case, you have to play both roles. One day, you’re just one of the performers, acting in somebody else’s sketch, taking direction from them; the next day, you’re the one telling that person that she can’t leave early so she can beat the traffic.

It’s a tough balancing act for a leader, and for several years I didn’t do it well.

But eventually I figured it out.

Entrepreneur, success, money, motivation, inspiration, wealth, cash, investing, quotes, billionaire, career success, mindset, innovation, attitude, focus, skills, attraction, law of attraction, prosperous, abundance, business, net work, bio, story, grind, company, hard work, determination, goal setting, self growth, self development, personal growth, personal development, greatness, learning, financial, Mark Cuban, change, dream, videos, startups, millionaire, life, effective habits, opportunity, reading, failure, failing, persistent, progress, get rich, riches, how to make money online, how to be successful, how to reach your maximum potential, psychology, how to build your personal brand, how to meditate, meditation, living a radiant life, how to accomplish your goals, how to achieve your goals, how to create your own destiny, how to increase your productivity, how to be productive, energy, powerful, confidence

Via BookBoon.com

They key, I found, is to be crystal clear about which role you’re playing at any given time. Ambiguity is the enemy, and it will kill your chances of being an effective leader.

If I, as executive producer Bill, was having an issue with one of my team members–Jennifer, for example (and I use the name Jennifer because we never had a team member named Jennifer; how we managed to avoid that, I’ll never know)-I would call Jennifer into my office. Now, here’s the important part…

When Jennifer would skip merrily into my office, the very first thing I would do would be to say, “I’m wearing my producer hat now.” The skipping would stop, and Jennifer would say, “Oh. Okay.” And we would have our conversation. (By the way, these weren’t always “bad news” conversations. I would do this any time I needed to be The Boss.)

The point is, there was no ambiguity. No misunderstanding. No possibility of Jennifer thinking, “Oh, he’s just being one of the guys–I don’t have to take this too seriously.”

A few years ago when I was keynoting a conference for a major financial group, I heard a presentation by business expert Amilya Anonetti. Speaking about this same leader/team member phenomenon, Amilya cited the examples of some leaders who literally put on a particular cap, or a particular jacket, when they were in “Boss” mode. She then said what it took me years to figure out for myself:

It Is possible to be both the leader of, and a member of, a team. It is possible to play both roles. Just be sure your team members know which role you’re playing.

Photo Cred: BusinessBanter.com

View the original article here

4 Comments »

  1. avatar
    Greg Koch May 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I have been in this position and it can be difficult in the beginning, i found that once we had sat down and explained the roles honestly an openly with very clear objectives for both i had gained the respect of the team i was leading and things went a lot smoother, i also found it very important to lead by example and that way it was never an issue.

  2. avatar
    Caleb May 14, 2015 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Perhaps one day, I too will know this struggle, and have a problem in an area which I used to not have an area.

  3. avatar
    Zaid R May 14, 2015 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Really insightful and definitely worth a try.

Leave A Response »