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Nine Rules for Effective Teams

These nine rules are based on the belief that level of elementary problems controls efficiency. If there are many elementary problems productivity will be negative, likewise, low level of problems puts productivity in the positive column. In the typical workforce, there is no recognition for people who spend time on elementary problems, big problems receive all the attention, yet, big problems start as minor and there are people around who are aware of them. Because of leadership attitudes, employees develop the habit of ignoring problems until they explode, at which time they become big problems, and then, leaders want to go on record for being a problem solver. Leadership attitudes towards elementary problems are corrected with front-line responsibility and solved with team intelligence. Team priority is to get the job done, they have authority to solve or prevent problems while minor.

1. Priority #1... Get The Job Done!!! - In many work environments, top priority is cost control, which limits the ability to get the job done. It cost money to control project cost. Focusing on "getting the job done" is automatic cost control. Decisions are based on what it takes to finish a job, not what it cost.

2. Consider employees as an investment, not a cost. - In any work environment, employees' skills and abilities will reflect the attitude of its leaders. If leadership considers employees a cost, quality of employees will suffer, likewise, if leadership considers employees an investment, then both sides will be motivated to increase skill quality. Greater efficiency is the result.

3. Employee attitudes are byproducts of leadership style. - If subordinates attitudes are negative toward the company, it is because of leadership style. If they are positive, it is because of leadership style. If attitudes need changing, it must start with the leaders.

4. Sharing knowledge inspires motivation. - People who have opportunity to share knowledge feel they are a part of the team. Team members want to impress with their ability to contribute valuable information. It inspires a desire to seek information, excel, accept challenges and reject the status quo.

5. Coach, not control. - People who only follow orders do not assume responsibility, are not motivated and do not have a desire to excel. Coaching is inspiring people to find solutions to problems. Finding solutions is a motivating force, it also becomes a habit. Coaching is sharing knowledge.

6. Worker/team responsibility - Being responsible for results is a highly motivating force. Also, a group of three or more, focused on a common goal, becomes a highly intelligent force. They are aware of minor problems and have authority to manage them. The team is recognized for their ability to prevent problems while getting the job done.

7. Supply quality resources. - Efficiency is as effective as available resources, (tools, supplies, work environment), to complete tasks. Employees will work hard to get jobs done, but they need quality resources to be efficient. Resources influence pride, which affects output quality.

8. Opportunity to learn. - Repetitive tasks kill the desire to learn, an attitude that rejects change and accepts the status quo. There is always a better way of doing a task, including repetitive task, and better ways are found with worker responsibility. Challenges motivate people to learn and the desire to learn is based on opportunity for challenges.

9. Wages - Effective worker responsibility require above average wages. Responsibility is no substitute for low wages. High wages inspire leaders to manage in an efficient way. Low wages promotes sloppiness. Wage level influences attitude and output quality.

A note on wages: It is my observation that low wage companies have higher overhead cost than high wage companies. Quality of leadership seems to be the controlling factor. Leadership quality is based on CEO's priorities.

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