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Current Issue In Print Leadership The Essentials

Team Leaders: Who Your Team Deserves

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As team leaders, we have been through a lot this year. We have been challenged, stressed and pushed to our breaking point. And yet, we stay and keep doing what we need to so our businesses can keep going. 

Why? Because we care. We care about the people we serve, and we want to serve them the best we can. That starts with us taking care of our team members. It is so easy right now to stay focused on the numbers, the members, the disease and to lose sight of our team members when they need us to be present.

Recently I pulled out the book, “Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace,” by John. C. Maxwell. As I scanned the pages, I came across a section that struck me. It was on what the author refers to as the “Leadership Dance.”  

He writes, “Stay ahead of people, staying close enough for them to see you. Step beside people, listening to them and talking about the journey. And step behind people, sharing words of encouragement to keep them going.”

To me, the “Leadership Dance” means being there for your team members. As team leaders, we must lead the way through this journey of uncertainty for all of our staff members. Knowing this path may be difficult and full of twists and turns, we need to stay close enough so our team members always have us in sight. That way, they know we are there if and when needed.   

We also need to walk beside our teams, listening to what they are saying and learning how they are feeling. This allows them to feel more comfortable coming to us to address their concerns. We can then provide the type of communication and updates they need so they stay on track and ease their worries.  

Finally, we need to have the kind, encouraging words to guide and to inspire our team members along this road of uncertainty to keep them going.  

We as team leaders have been through a lot this year. But, so have our team members. During this unprecedented time we need to be the leader our team members deserve and be there for them each step of this crazy dance. 

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Karen M. Raisch-Siegel

Karen M. Raisch-Siegel is the executive director of LifeWorks of Southwest General, a health and fitness facility owned and operated by Southwest General Hospital. Karen has been the executive director for over 15 years and is responsible for full operations of the health and wellness center. Karen holds a master’s of science degree in exercise physiology and a bachelor’s of science degree in advertising and business administration. She is a member of the REX roundtables for executives, currently serves on the Middleburg Heights Chamber of Commerce board, the Olmsted Chamber of Commerce board and Valley Riding Inc. board of directors, and is a certified group exercise instructor who actively continues to teach.

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