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In a session on creating a “Secret Sauce for Successful Leaders” my client team identified these ingredients:  vision, communication, confidence, positive role modeling, reliability, trustworthiness and transparency with generous dashes of encouragement, motivation, appreciation, fun, coaching, caring and steadiness.

Potential Distractions

In our next exercise, “How to Avoid Burning Your Fingers”, the group identified the following potential distractions to implementing that Secret Sauce recipe:

  • External market factors
  • Loss of business
  • Morale / Negativity
  • Resistance
  • Communication
  • Safety or other incidents
  • Talent
  • Resource management
  • Personal distractions

Celebrate Successes

Could you choose the perfect dessert for each member of your team without asking them what they want?  Our last item on the menu for this session, “Why We Shouldn’t Skip Dessert,” explored the importance of celebrating successes in ways that motivate each individual.  Here are some of the techniques that were mentioned:

  • Listening
  • Trust
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Support
  • Involvement in decision-making
  • Meaningful work
  • Autonomy
  • Training & development
  • Career advancement
  • Money

I invite you to create your own secret sauce for leadership recipe, develop a plan to put the lid on potentially painful distractions, and serve each of your team members a dessert that will motivate them to succeed in any kind of market environment.

The news reports from the days after terrorist attacks in Paris indicated that Parisians were doing what they typically do – meeting friends in cafes, jogging and walking their dogs.  It’s common in the aftermath of a traumatic event to feel relieved that we’re safe and then to feel guilty for wanting life to return to normal.

Trauma at Work

To a lesser degree, people can also suffer from survivor guilt after their colleagues are laid off.   The confusion of feeling relieved while grieving can affect productivity, morale and trust.

What Leaders Can Do

Team leaders who acknowledge these feelings and ask for suggestions on how to handle increased workloads can help restore equilibrium.  I invite you to be aware of and accept feelings of loss and then to make a conscious decision to follow the Parisian example and carry on.