Why Does Your Leadership Skills Matter When Influencing Your Staff?
It matters because, leaders exist to create a shift in the childcare business. Without leaders, things tend to drift along. They go where they want to go, and most followers, they follow the path of least resistance; however, this is not acceptable in a childcare facility that’s striving for excellence. There must be someone that can hire, elect, appoint, and direct your childcare team towards success. Your job as the leader is to overcome resistance, and make things flow in a different direction towards your dreams becoming a reality.
I’ve seen it happen so many times in the childcare industry where your staff is given a directive to complete certain tasks on time, and then the task never get completed on time, or the leader, just like how I was, would ask for the information to be turned in, but it would be after the due date. A lot of times this happened because my staff would follow the path of least resistance. I’m pretty sure that that’s the same case in your childcare business. It’s really hard to find a staff member that would follow your directions to a T. Most people will try to get away with what they can get away with so that their workload becomes easier for them.
This is why leadership in your childcare business with your team is so important. It really isn’t any different rather or not you may operate in a group, or you may operate in a small center, or even a franchise corporate model, leadership on every level in your childcare business is important. Leaders exist to help make decisions and to help your business move along successfully. Until you’ve raised up a leader to do those things for you, it is your job as the childcare business owner to lead your team and to give them a path to follow.
One of the attributes that I want to talk about is what makes me a great leader? You can glean from me, and begin to add these things into your childcare business.
What makes me a great leader?
#1 I create a path for my team to follow. Although there are times when my path aren’t as clear at first, I keep working at my path and keep working on my plan, until eventually I lay out a clear path for my team to follow. I keep my team excited about following me because I show them what’s in it for them. I show them how we win when we follow the path together.
#2 I can relate to my team. There’s never anything that I’ve asked my team to do that I haven’t done myself, and I always speak to them from their point of view. I speak to my team from their point of view because I’ve been right where they are. When I built my childcare business, I started out babysitting. Then I went into a family, and we grew into a group.
I know what it’s like to drive the bus, and have to document who gets on the bus. I know what it’s like to feed the children, and have to document the food that they’ve eaten, and document how many children were fed. I’m in their shoes, so I know every single day what it takes to run and operate a successful childcare business. I know about the shift that you must make as a childcare owner or as a childcare leader in order for your business to be successful. Because I know these things, I speak to my team from this place, a place of familiarity, and I also work with them on how to be better in their current field and in their life.
#3 I balance out my leadership with my team. I give what I want to receive back. There are times where meeting with my team is not just about what I want them to do in my classroom, but it’s about them, their life, what’s going on in their life, and how can I help them with situations in their life because I want my team to come to me and think about my business. I want them to think about how they can help me in my business. I want them to think about how they can help me improve my childcare business, and so I give time to my team back so that I can get back from my team what I want from them, which is focus in on my childcare business.
Another thing that makes me a great leader is that I give my team the tools they need in order to be successful. I go from a dictator to a participator with my team. I participate in my teams planning. I participate in my teams dream boarding. I participate in my team setting up the things they need in their classrooms by providing them with the right tools.
So many times I made the mistake of just dictating the vision to my team, and not necessarily participating with my team bringing the vision to past. The way I participate with my team in bringing the vision to past is by giving checkpoints that I can follow to make sure that my team is given what they need to succeed. The right tools will bring in the right accountability in your childcare classroom.
Last but not least. Another thing that I do to lead my team is that I meet with my team frequently and often. I meet with my team, and a lot of my meetings, when I know that they’re going to go beyond an hour or an hour and a half, it also accommodates some type of food, drink, beverage, snack for my team so that they can feel appreciated. Because I know that I’m taking up their time. Especially during a training event, by giving those things out to my team, it lets them know that I’m focused in on their needs as well, and I need them to focus in on mine.
Here’s the last and final leadership position that I take. I have more than meetings. I have actual trainings. It’s so important as the leader that you train your team in order to produce the right habits that you want in your business.
One of the principles that I’ve learned is never ask someone to do something that they haven’t been trained and shown what to do. It frustrates you, and it frustrates your help. Make sure that whenever you train your team that you’ve given them the information and the tools in order to do what you’ve asked them to do. A lot of times you’re not operating in success because you haven’t given them what they need in order to help you succeed. These are my tips on my strategies on why every team needs a great leader.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your leadership skills, here are a few steps that I suggest that you do.
#1 Identify what needs you need to implement or to change. What’s unacceptable about your current work environment, about your current planning? What’s frustrating you? What disappoints you? What needs do you want to change in your business?
#2 You’ve got to determine the outcome that you see. Do you want to create an environment where staff is turning in their lesson plans on time? Many people call this dictating, but I call this participating. If you want your lesson plans turned in on time, find ways to participate in the lesson planning process so that you can see what your team sees and that you can help your team possibly get it done sooner. It’s a great thought. You should try it.
#3 Decide how you will achieve your outcomes. This is called strategy. Good leaders pick the course that will produce the results that they want in their business, so the best way to help your team get to the finish line and have a great success is for you to come up with a strategy. Your strategy always resides in your tools. If you haven’t given your team the right tools, then you’re not capable of giving them the right strategy to help them be successful.
#4 Create a plan of action. Once you have a vision and a strategy, you must craft an action plan with specific milestones and due dates. You have to be able to measure your progress against your time and your effort. A lot of times we don’t reach our goals, or we don’t come into agreement with our team because we never made it a part of our vision or a part of our strategy.
Do you know what? Before you try to plan anything to happen for your childcare classrooms, begin to plan ways to improve your strategy for staff accountability. You’ll see where having the right tools and the right strategy will help you succeed in your childcare business. You should get the Quarterly Agenda, the full kit, to help you achieve every single thing that you want to see your team do in your childcare business.