March 22


Follow the Leader

By Celeste DeCamps

March 22, 2023

communication, FollowTheLeader, HideNSeek, LeadershipSkills, ListenWithPatience, self improvement, self-esteem, TeamBuilding, trust

"A successful manager is one who's available to offer support, guidance, and positive feedback."

I was fortunate to grow up in a neighborhood full of kids. We spent the weekends running around outside till it was time for dinner, and then we'd head back out. Everybody's parents easily tracked us by letting each other know our whereabouts. However, one house didn't appreciate our nightly games and called the police on us. As soon as we saw the flashing red lights come down the street, we all ran into the nearest garage, mine. My mother, who was eight months pregnant, came out to talk to the officers. When they saw her, they laughed. "Not only do you have a bunch of kids here, but a belly full as well; we're just going to wish you a goodnight."

Looking back, I realized that many of the games we played helped with my team-building and leadership skills. For example, we played hide and seek using teams. One team hid while the other team had to search and hold the player they found down for a count of three. Once captured, you were held at a base, but if someone from your team could evade being tagged, he could free the captives, and the hunt would start all over again. So we developed strategies for hiding or worked out systems to keep our prisoners from being released.

We understood the importance of communication and listening to each other's suggestions for the best hiding places. We developed signals that had everybody running to protect our prisoners. We trusted each other and ensured everybody was congratulated when we won. Pretty much the same technique I use for sales and customer service trainings. (Except for the part about holding a person down for three counts, apparently, that's frowned on.)

For a team to want to follow a leader, respect and trust are essential. Employees know when their boss doesn't hold them in high esteem or want to hear their opinions. As a director, you want your crew to feel comfortable bringing their ideas and creative solutions to the group. When people feel listened to and valued, they stay engaged with the task at hand. Finally, a successful manager is one who's available to offer support, guidance, and positive feedback.

It can be challenging to get everyone on the same page. We all have experiences that shape our perspectives and keep us from seeing someone else's point of view. So it's always a good idea to take a time-out, regroup and have a do-over. Give people an opportunity to express themselves clearly and find a way to compromise. Miscommunication happens, but taking a moment to clear the air can do wonders for everyone's state of mind.

During the work day, we should be allowed to go outside, play a game of catch, and relieve some stress. In addition, fresh air and laughing with others would make us feel more relaxed, which would help our productivity. I believe playing hide and seek wouldn't be a good idea, though. No one would look for each other as we would all opt to stay hidden.

About the author

Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.

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