Blog Post #12
Shield your Team
In every organization, there are instances where superiors pass down policies or instructions that can be detrimental to your team members or their performance. If you are in a leadership position it is your job to shield your team and mitigate as much damage as possible. Your subordinates and their performance is your responsibility. So what can you do?
The military is very team oriented but due to the nature of the work sometimes you have to ask a lot from your team. When I was loaned out to a unit low on manpower I had to man a TCP(Traffic Control Point) while they trained. Due to the low manpower, I had to work 16-18 hour shifts guarding the entrance to the training zone. Needless to say, it sucked, soldiers don’t get over time. My team leader made it better by making jokes and working extra hard to make sure we were taken care of. It did not improve the job but it made the job less daunting.
My squad leader eventually got us switched out of the guard rotations. My team leader was quick to ensure we got to rest and eat. He made our “resupply” longer than it needed to be so we could get some much-needed rest. This built a stronger bond with our superior because he took care of us even though he had orders to rotate us to another position.
You can do something similar if your team is getting burned out by moved up timelines. Do more than your share of work, buy coffee for everyone, or bring a speaker and let everyone take turns playing their favorite music. If possible try to make the objectives set by your superiors more attainable by communicating the difficulties your department or team is having.
Do not ask anything of your team you would not do yourself. In fact, work harder and lead by example. Sometimes the situations will suck but if your subordinates see how hard you are working, if you have built rapport with them, they will work alongside you. If you take care of your team they will take care of you.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Have you ever had to shield your people form less than desirable situations? If you have any friends or family that may be interested in this content, please refer them to this site.