How to Be An Ambassador for Your Team

And how the 7 roles apply to me

ambassador

Today I finished going through the Results that Last: 7 Roles Every Manager Must Master course through Let’s Grow Leaders, and the last role is one that in essence, sums up the rest of them. In review, the first six roles are:

Translator

Builder

Connector

Galvanizer

Accelerator

Backer

The final role is one of Ambassador.

Dictionary.com defines ambassador as an “authorized messenger or representative.” As a team leader, an ambassador represents the team to other leaders and organizations. They are often the ones that present results, concerns, and accomplishments. They also field the tough questions about where their team seems to be missing the mark.

Another layer of responsibility for an ambassador is to equip their team members to be ambassadors for the team as well. In this way, everyone on the team represents the team and what it stands for.

The tenth and final part of the course provided a 360 assessment for leaders to share with their team.

As I think about this course in relation to what I do, it encourages me to strengthen each of these roles for use in a different context than that of a manager. I don’t really manage a team, but I do influence and help people. In my three main roles–that of collaborative virtual assistant, writer, and business soft skills trainer–here’s how I feel I can apply the seven roles for results that last. For purposes of this part of the discussion, I am grouping my clients, students, and readers into one definition of “colleagues” because we all work together to continually grow in our professional and personal lives.

Translator – I can help my colleagues understand the big picture elements of becoming less-overwhelmed in their day-to-day life as professionals. This includes sharing ideas, information, and resources  (see connector) but goes deeper into inspiring and helping them stay focused on their values and principles of serving others. I can specifically help them turn their big dreams and values into implementable action.

Builder – I can build up my colleagues’ confidence in their ability to reach their own audiences, develop their writing skills, and manage their time and teams more effectively.

Connector – I can bring people who should know each other together, and point colleagues toward resources that will help them.

Galvanizer – I can energize my colleagues with thought provoking, energizing questions and tips, and also in a very literal way take tasks off their plates that drain them. Sometimes it simply means being a cheerleader and acknowledging their progress!

Accelerator – I can prompt my colleagues to get–and keep–moving toward their goals. This happens in client calls, for example, when I am collaborating with them and being a source of accountability for their own goals.

Backer – I can “have the backs” of my colleagues and believe the best of them. I can support them in challenging times. I can pray for them. (As a person of faith, my business life dovetails with my beliefs and I venture to guess that there isn’t a colleague out there who wouldn’t mind being prayed for no matter their own faith persuasion.)

Ambassador – I can equip all my colleagues as they represent themselves and their organizations to the world. As I represent all of you, I hope to do so with grace and professionalism.

The day I wrote this, it was a couple days before Thanksgiving. I didn’t realize the post was going to go in this direction, and by the time it publishes, Thanksgiving will be over and we will be well into the beginning of Advent. However, this is a great opportunity to thank all of YOU — each one of you is a colleague of mine whether we know each other personally or not. I appreciate and value the opportunity to serve you on a regular basis through one or more of my roles.

If you are interested in going through Results that Last yourself, click below, and benefit HOPE at the same time!

KH-Banner1-sxa

 

 

 

 

Get them Going and Have Their Backs

The Accelerator and Backer Roles for Results that Last

Accelerator Backer

Are you able to motivate the people around you? Do you have their backs?

Good leaders (even if not assigned to a team officially) are able to influence and motivate others. They act as accelerators, moving the team along.

In the business world, an accelerator looks beyond the stats to what those numbers really mean. For example, your company may handle 25 phone calls a day. But the real meaning behind the measure is how satisfied each of those callers are with their experience interacting with your front line.

A good accelerator can take those numbers and translate (remember that role, too) them into meaningful inspiration to move the team to achieve even more.

In the process of achieving more though, you have to have their backs. Are you quick to throw others under the bus to protect your own repuation? Or are you willing to take a proverbial bullet for your team?

Last night I was watching an episode of Castle, where Ryan jumped in front of his partner to save his life. Fortunately, Ryan’s life was protected by a notebook in his jacket pocket. (Not sure how realistic that is, but work with me here.) Ryan didn’t hesitate to take a bullet–to put himself in harm’s way. And his effort proved his loyalty to his partner at a time when they were having a lot of trouble with each other. It gave great new perspective.

Your team will be loyal when they know you are willing to back them. This doesn’t mean covering for bad behavior, but to be willing to take responsibility when the results aren’t good.

Motivate your team–inspire them to keep moving. But even more, have their backs in the process.

For more help with the key roles every manager must master, enroll in Karin Hurt’s course. Click below!

KH-Banner1-sxa

Connector and Galvanizer: Energize Your Team

You can do this! I have confidence in you.

Connector Galvanizer

You can do this! I have confidence in you!

In my continued journey through the course,  Results that Last: 7 Roles Every Manager Must Master, I’m learning about various “hats” a good manager has to wear.

This week, the hats of Connector and Galvanizer were my focus.

A connector helps their team tie together the big picture with the everyday tasks, and a galvanizer energizes the team to carry out that vision. Unfortunately, when a manager is overwhelmed with the minutia of every day tasks, these two roles can take a beating. Who has time for explaining the vision? Who wants to bother with energizing activities? That’s understandable, but you’re defeating yourself if you don’t take a few extra minutes to engage your team in conversation and cheer them on. Here are some concrete examples of how you can do so without over stressing your full calendar and task list:

1. Regularly remind your team (or yourself) of the bigger picture. Work it into staff meetings, walking down the hall conversations, and over coffee or lunch. I’m not talking about preaching to them, but ask questions like, “How does this task tie into our core value of ____________?”

2. Do energy-building activities on a regular basis. You don’t have to plan elaboarate retreats (although those are great) but you can do weekly or monthly energizers. For example, incorporate into standard staff meetings a 5-minute ice breaker. Set up a puzzle for the team to work on a few minutes at a time (see my post about this here.) Start review meetings with an energizing question. (For more ideas on having fun with your team, see my book about Boosting Workplace Morale.)  These little ideas do not take a lot of time or effort, but they pay off in a big way.

3. Don’t trickle down the stress. If you are receiving stress packages from your manager, don’t deliver it down to your team the same way. We tend to pass the stress along but it has to stop somewhere. Be the bigger person and figure out a way to give potentially stressful news to your team in an upbeat way. (In the course, there is a role play that reveals a great sample of how to do that.)

Connector and Galvanizer are perhaps the two roles that resonate well with me, because they align with one side of my personality. I have good memories leading a team and incorporating fun elements into the workplace, and I love to do hands-on energizers when I teach business soft skill classes. But whether or not these roles come naturally to you, you will be helping your own productivity and stress-management if you take some time to get better at them.

One way to get better is to enroll in Karin’s course! (And you bless HOPE Unlimited at the same time.)

KH-Banner1-sxa

 

PS: Remember the freebie Karin is offering us! Download her free e-book about Mentoring Millenials below:

Mentoring

52 Scripture-Inspired Affirmations for Your Work Life

Exciting. Challenging. Stressful. Annoying. Your work life journey can be described by all these words and more. Where can you turn for some encouragement and weekly motivation to make the most of this consuming part of your life? Beth Beutler provides 52 affirmations and Scripture references to encourage you to focus on one element in your work life per week. The book is organized into four themes–career journey, relationships/communication, productivity/time management, and personal growth/self-care–with 13 affirmations each. They are numbered but undated, so a reader can start anytime during the year, and read repeatedly as they wish.

Written to appeal to people of any (or no) particular faith, this book provides Scripture references and corresponding thoughts that draw upon the timeless wisdom of the Bible and many of Beth’s personal experiences as a professional who has struggled with stress, time management, and job loss.

Please note: this book provides Scripture references to accompany the affirmations, so the reader has the option to use their own Bible/Bible app if they wish to dig deeper. The verses/passages mentioned are not written out in this book. A personal journal would be a great accompaniment to this book.

Translator and Builder: Two Key Roles for Managers

Help them understand; Make them stronger


Translator Builder
High-up boss to middle manager: “The sales numbers from last quarter are terrible. You’d better turn them around!”

Middle manager to team supervisor: “Get your team on the ball. No excuses. We need higher sales numbers.”

Team supervisor to sales execs: “You people better turn this around. The numbers better go up next quarter!”

Trickle down intimidation instead of explanation. It never works well. Why do so many managers–at all levels–use it?

One of the most important roles of a breakthrough results manager is that of translator, and it’s the first Karin Hurt discusses in her course Results that Last: 7 Roles Every Manager Must Master for Results that Last.

A translator takes a situation and helps his/her team understand why things are going the way they are. They turn the above conversation into dialog and solution-seeking, not blame. Just like you may need a translator to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language, you need a manager to translate rationally what he or she is hearing from the “top.”

In addition to that, a manager must be a builder–someone who strengthens each team member and gives them confidence to know they can indeed “turn this around.” This takes time, patience, and a desire to provide opportunities for training, mentorship, and insightful dialogs, not just barked commands.

Next time you are leading someone, pretend they don’t know the language and compassionately explain the situation–what you need, and more importantly, WHY you need it. Then build them up with the resources they need to be able to come back and say, “We did it!”

Then you can say, “I knew you could.”

Take yourself–and your team–through this course. Click below. for more information.  You can also take the free 5-day challenge offered at the link to become a better manager in just one work week!

7 Roles Every Manager Must Master Enroll Now!

 

Confident Humility: The Foundation for Results that Last

And a free ebook, Mentoring in the Age of the Millennial

KH-Banner1-sxa

 

I’m blogging my way through the course Results that Last: 7 Roles Every Manager Must Master by Karin Hurt of Let’s Grow Leaders, one of the people I have the privilege of assisting through my business. This week, we’re focusing Units 1 & 2 of this 10 unit course.

Unit 1: Introduction7 roles tree

The course is set up in a practical, time-respectful way. It is a nice mix of videos and exercises, that you can fill in on screen and print, or download to fill out on your own. This makes it easy for overwhelmed professionals to take one concept at a time and apply it in different ways. It appeals to various learning styles too, with its visual and auditory elements plus hands-on activities and reflection opportunities.

Key takeaways from this unit were:

  • Getting to know how to proceed through the course and understanding that it will not take hours of time (for example, the videos were less than five minutes each.)
  • A personal “leadership credo” is very valuable. It’s like a mission statement, only deeper. Busy people rarely take the time to think through “why” they are doing what they do or in the career they are in, or how they will lead others. This exercise gives you the road map to start thinking about those things.
  • All managers have seven roles that they must master–a cocktail to get breakthrough results.
    • Translator
    • Builder
    • Connector
    • Galvanizer
    • Accelerator
    • Backer
    • Ambassador
  • Question for my readers: Which of the above roles intrigues you the most?  (If you’d like to take a look at several suggestions of leaders who reflect the above roles, check out the collaborative post here.)

Unit 2: The Foundation: Confident Humility15-Confident Humility

#confidenthumility is one of Karin’s core values. The main takeaway from this unit is grasping the understanding that you can be confident without being arrogant, and humble without being full of self-doubt. She tells a good story in this unit about a visit to a ranch where the tour leader could’ve benefited from a better balance of confidence with humility.

Question for my readers: What leader do you think demonstrates a mix of confidence with humility? 

Next week I’ll be learning about the roles of Translator and Builder.

Please comment, contact me, or interact on social media with your thoughts! And, if you and your team are ready to enroll in the course yourselves, click on the banner above and you’ll benefit HOPE too!

PS: I mentioned I might be giving you some surprises. Here’s one. Karin has written a book about mentoring millennials and is sharing her free download directly here for my readers! Click on the image to enjoy!

Mentoring