Paperclips to the Rescue

Have you ever had one of those days when a task is just too darn difficult? For example, you can’t get the last chocolate covered cookie out of the plastic shell that’s holding it hostage. You have two choices. One is to give up and forget the cookie and the other is to find a tool to help you with the task, for example, a paper clip that’s resting on the desk waiting to be used.

If you’re like me, you used the paper clip.

Now, what’s that have to do with leading your team? Well, do you give up at the first sign of adversity, the first challenge, the first “lack of tools”? If so, you’re never going to make it to the lofty title of leader. Actually, you’re also not even going to be a good Team Lead, Supervisor or Manager. You have to find the tools, access the resources and allow your people to use them appropriately. As the leader you may be in front of the group, behind the group, or not even in the work area, and they’ll still be moving forward. Find the tools required, provide them at the right time and use them appropriately.

Now, take a look at your work area. What tools aren’t there for you and your people? How do you get the appropriate tools? Remember, tools can be physical objects or human resources. Use both as required.