Most professionals enjoy their technical work. After all, they chose the career in the first place primarily because they were attracted to the work involved and felt that it suited their abilities and personalities. Of course most people get bored if they do the same work for too long. That is why it is so necessary for professionals to widen and deepen their skills as their careers progress. We have already seen how important it is for team leaders to provide help and encouragement.
In most professional teams there are many tasks, beyond the technical work, that have to be undertaken. It is here that good leaders tap the enthusiasm of their people by playing to their passions. For example, some people love the opportunity to appear in front of others and make presentations. Others hate it. Some people enjoy getting their teeth into a project that will lead to better ways of doing things. Others find it a distraction. Some people get a huge kick out of helping others with their work and their careers. Others get impatient. If people love doing the work then they generally do it well. If they need to improve their skills then they usually make it their business to do so. Good leaders know the activities that ‘turn their people on’ and match assignments accordingly.
Here are some examples of activities best undertaken by those who have a passion for doing the work involved. It is an opportunity to play to people’s strengths:
- making formal presentations to potential clients to win business;
- networking and building relationships to promote business opportunities;
- writing articles that help to develop the reputation of the individual, the team and the firm;
- contributing to seminars that help to build the reputation of the individual, the team and the firm;
- leading or contributing to internal projects – examples might include developing and implementing new systems, producing proposals for exploiting new markets and designing questionnaires for obtaining formal feedback on service quality from clients;
- mentoring and supervising trainees;
- running internal training sessions;
- facilitating sessions for generating and evaluating ideas;
- organizing promotional events;
- doing some research on an industry, geographical market or potential client;
- helping with the recruitment and selection process;
- chairing meetings.