This is a guest post by April Boey.
Growing up in a results-focused society, I went to university with the single-minded goal of acing all my exams. My parents had done a good job of drilling the idea in me.
I did well in school. However, after two years of repeating the studying routine made me bored— really bored.
Like a mid-life crisis, I reckoned I had been hit by mid-university crisis. I needed to do something different.
Most people think it is no big deal to join a school club, but as an extreme introvert, the thought of it struck tremendous fear in me. However, with the company of a buddy, I eventually joined a club.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I took part in many activities, learned to interact with more people, and left behind a fear of doing new things. Everyone wants to feel part of a group with which to identify and share interests. I loved the way club participation gave me the opportunity to be part of a big family and to experience some unforgettable moments.
I rose up the hierarchy in my club, becoming vice-president of membership. Our members came with different abilities, ideas, opinions and traits.
The single most important thing I learned is the importance of bringing love to the endeavor. Throughout my experience as a team member and leader, I found the famous saying to be true: People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care. If you don’t genuinely want the people in your team to be happy, you are not in the right job.
Here are my tips for showing your love as you lead:
(1) Understand your purpose, role and limitations. With this, you can work effectively with every member of the team without doing too much or too little.
(2) Find out what the organization needs as well as the needs of every member. Taking into account everyone’s interests makes the team stronger.
(3) Get to know your team; genuinely care for them and work together as one.
(4) Ask a lot of questions from your members. Ask for their opinions, concerns, and suggestions on how to improve the organization.
(5) Be flexible in how you work with each member. Everyone has a different personality.
(6) Be transparent. Allow your members to see who you really are and do not pretend to be somebody else. Transparency builds trust.
(7) Show respect to everybody and appreciate their hard work.
(8) Trust the members to do their job, which helps increase their self-esteem and motivates them.
(9) Lead by example. Set the standards the members can follow.
(10) Be approachable so they are comfortable reaching out when they need you.
(11) Be accessible.
(12) Stress the organization’s purpose when setting goals.
(13) Do what you say. Never plan on something you wouldn’t do.
(14) Be decisive.
(15) Respond quickly to problems.
(16) Admit when you don’t have the answer.
(17) Hold brainstorming sessions to solve problems and for new and innovative projects.
(18) Push your team, but do not impose fear. Nobody’s perfect and if team members make mistakes, help them to avoid future mistakes and to improve themselves.
(19) Develop the leader within each member; give them the ability to grow by making decisions.
(20) Make every member of the organization accountable and involved in the organization’s growth so they feel a part of the organization’s success.
April believes education has the ability to transform your life. She manages a blog for peer-to-peer learning, Digital Senior, where people share their university experience in Singapore.