Chester Elton: How Caring Leadership Creates Teams That Win, Episode #29

The old-style leadership approach most of us have experienced is not sensitive to caring for the individuals on the team. Chester Elton says those who don’t practice caring leadership are missing the boat in the modern world. In this conversation, you’ll hear my great and entirely practical conversation with Chester as we discuss how leaders can and should create teams that thrive in environments of encouragement, support, and emotional safety. It’s not as hard to pull off as you might think. It’s a matter of proving to team members that they matter and are a vital part of what the organization is doing. You’ll glean an incredible amount of practical advice from Chester on this episode.

Caring for your team is the most important aspect of effective leadership

Leaders who build thriving and effective teams are the ones who know how to care for the members of their teams on an individual level. In this conversation, Chester tells an “out of this world” story about one team of astronauts who were amazingly more productive than set of astronaughts that ever served on the International Space Station. The reason? Their leader took the time to know each of them individually and invest in them in unique ways. That effort multiplied itself as all the team members bought-in to caring for each other in extraordinary ways. Learn a handful of simple things you can do to care for your team and bring out their best work, on this episode.

Leaders must take the time to have aspirational conversations with their teams

Do you know what is meant by the term “aspirational conversation?” Chester Elton says that good leaders learn how to converse with their team members about the things they dream about, the things they hope for, and the goals they have for their lives and careers. It’s a way the leader can express interest in their team members and do their part to set them on the road to achieving their personal and professional goals. One result is that team members bring their best effort to work because they know someone in leadership is rooting for them. Listen to this episode to learn how to support and encourage your team toward their life goals and increase productivity at the same time, on this episode of Masters of Leadership.

“Managing to the one” and “speed to productivity” are key skills for leaders to learn

Chester Elton often refers to two practices he’s discovered that are essential for leaders: managing to the one – and speed to productivity. The first has to do with knowing team members individually and leading them in light of that knowledge. It’s a position of caring concern that has earned the right to lead. Speed to productivity refers to the need to get team members plugged in and operating as a productive part of the team as soon as possible. When that practice is coupled with positive feedback, team members thrive.

Teams where it is safe to challenge everything are the teams that win

We’ve all been part of an organizational culture where we felt beaten down, unappreciated, or taken advantage of. In those environments, nobody is willing to speak up when things are wrong or broken for fear of being marginalized. Chester Elton says that teams where there is safety to challenge everything, are much more productive and actually accomplish their organizational goals faster. If you’re in a position of leadership you need to know how to create that kind of environment. Chester has practical advice for you, so listen to this episode.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:40] Why the best leaders have the best soft skills
  • [2:42] The story behind Chester’s new book, “The Best Team Wins”
  • [5:00] The differences in leading teams in a digital workplace
  • [6:45] An out-of-this-world story to illustrate what makes for the best teams
  • [10:01] How to cultivate a caring, engaged climate among your team
  • [12:12] Great ways to speed up the trust-building process
  • [16:18] The customer experience will never exceed the employee experience
  • [19:40] We celebrate what we value – so we must celebrate our people
  • [22:45] The positive to negative ratio in positive workplaces is 5 to 1
  • [24:01] Immediate advice for those managing teams

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