Chris Makell

October 01, 2016

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Remember when...

When you were an employee you knew how to get things done.

You set your schedule, you booked the right meetings, you knew exactly what to say to move people to action and as a result, it led to your role as a leader today.

Your team, however, may not have the exact same focus, energy and commitment that you had and your frustration is starting to show.

Knowing that your role as a leader is to inspire and encourage your employees to achieve objectives, without jumping in and doing it yourself, can be a challenge.

While there is no "magic" answer, there is an approach, dare I say a framework that you can use, to manage what you can so that you visibly reduce your frustration.

To get the best results, it requires a willingness on your part, to lead yourself and your team, masterfully. What that means is requiring more of your leadership skills, rather than your management skills to accomplish results, together.

When leaders are stressed and frustrated, we drop back into the "old standby" of managing to the result. Which means you kick into the "giving direction" gear vs. reminding the team of the result we're focused on achieving, together.

If you do this, don't beat yourself up. It's easy to do, since we do it mostly out of habit.

However, allow me to share is a framework or simple steps that if actively used, will make leading masterfully your "go to" habit.

There are five steps in the Lead Masterfully framework and you'll recognize their power to help you more easily contain your frustration as a leader.

The first step is to develop an empowering philosophy for your approach to leadership.

Begin by asking yourself:

What is my basic belief about how I am a leader of people?

Perhaps it's through modeling behavior for your team that generates clear results.

Or you may be more of a coach who encourages through active listening and guiding others to believe in their own potential.

Identify your empowering philosophy for leadership and use it consistently. It will put you on the path out of overt (and self-defeating) frustration.

Next, provide your team with a higher level of trust and transparency so that they don't spend time looking for hidden agendas and motives.

They know that when the specter of frustration and its twin anger, make an appearance with a leader.

Your team knows it's coming and they start to wonder what's driving it. Without trust and transparency, they begin to make up their own stories to fit the situation.

End the speculation and share the real, raw deal as to why you're frustrated... and ask for their help.

You'd be surprised at how willing they will be to "watch your back" when you share the challenges that you're truly up against.

Everyone likes to be included. It helps to create team cohesiveness and commitment. When you use the third step, inclusion to drive commitment, you encourage ideas, input, and suggestions to improve and achieve greater results, together.

What this does is it immediately gives the contributor a stronger desire to see results. Why? Because "people support what they create." Use this energy to help the team, and you, avoid added frustration with not being included.

Many leaders think that employees slide into the "comfort zone" and don't like to take on new challenges. That's why we often believe "change" is uncomfortable for employees.

However, if you can raise the bar with the appropriate encouragement and guidance to succeed, you will find employees crave an invigorating challenge, which is our fourth step.

A tightly engaged team and leader require stimulation to pursue higher goals and this is how you can re-energize and achieve results, faster.

Finally, just as you require acknowledgment and appreciation for the challenging role of leader, so does your team. Your frustration can be easily abated when you use positive recognition with your employees.

Just by recognizing the smallest aspects of team activity, you immediately drive greater engagement, commitment, and loyalty.

It doesn't take a lot, nor does it take away from who you are as a leader. You will actually deepen the respect your team has for you to lead them masterfully.

To summarize, your five steps to lead masterfully and contain your frustration as a leader are:

  • Create and check in with your empowering philosophy, i.e., what do you believe about yourself as a leader.

  • Use trust and transparency to give your team the opportunity to "have your back" and meet the challenge that's frustrating you.

  • Inclusion to drive commitment allows you to encourage ideas, input, and suggestions to improve and achieve greater results, together.

  • A tightly engaged team and leader require an invigorating challenge to pursue higher goals and achieve results, faster.

  • Just by recognizing the smallest aspects of team activity, with positive recognition, you immediately create greater engagement, commitment, and loyalty.

  • Frustration is a manifestation of not getting your needs met as a leader. The five steps from the Lead Masterfully framework deliver a simple approach to be and feel amazing at what you get to do, every single day.

    Looking for more strategies that give you more control with less stress?

    Consider a moment to talk session when you're frustrated and need to walk through the best response with an unbiased champion for your success.

    Learn more at

    Weekly Podcast: How to Master Your Own Image

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