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How can I better understand the people I lead?

Have you ever felt like your team could be healthier? I've led a number of small, medium and large teams of extremely talented and passionate people and I have often felt like things were okay, but that they could be great. I would often wonder, "why aren't things great?" We know this is a topic near and dear to your heart...

How can I better understand the people I lead?

In the book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek, we learn that one of the biological reasons why tribal leaders eat last is because towards the top of their list of responsibilities is to provide a safe and secure environment for the members of their tribe to thrive, even at their own sacrifice. You can watch his TED talk on this topic here.

It's subtle, but one of the things you are doing when you spend your time as a leader seeking to understand the people you lead is that you are communicating their value to them and creating a safe environment. Instead of having the tired leadership model of "Leaders Eat First," you are willing to take the hit on behalf of your team. You are the first one who will give up your power and your privilege for those who you serve.

Often, this is as simple as asking the members of your team, one on one, what is most important to them, what they think the organization needs, how they are doing, etc. And, if you want to get a high-level view of your whole team, you can pull them together into a team report and get some amazing insights into the team you are leading. Here is a quick video overview I recently did for a client.

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