On Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Resident Director Daniel Pretz presented “Team Motivation & Supervision” with interactive exercises to the Vulcan Village Leadership Living-Learning Community. The LLC students were challenged with creating a bridge and a tower utilizing uncooked spaghetti, string, gumdrops, and craft sticks. The LLC students learned the importance of motivating your team to accomplish goals and foster team morale.
Here are some of successful strategies for motivating teams that were shared:
Step 1 – Hire the right people
- Hire slow, fire fast
- Look for attitude over aptitude (although aptitude is not unimportant)
Step 2 – Get / Keep them excited
- Give them the ability to apply their unique skills and passions
- Involve your team in decision-making
- Set realistic goals
- Have team members bring you solutions, not problems
Step 3 – Develop trust and dedication loyalty
- Work harder than your employees (supervisors don’t “get it easy”)
- Don’t give assignments that you yourself haven’t done (or wouldn’t do)
- Let your team see you work
- Take responsibility for failures. Never throw your team under the bus
- As the leader, you get to take the “lumps” (criticism)
- Give recognition
- Be selective so it isn’t perceived as fake
- Give specific praise
- Show an interest in them beyond the work they do for you. Get to know them as people.
Step 4 – Rinse and repeat
- “People often say that motivation doesn’t last, well neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
- Motivation, like leadership is not a “thing” to be “done.” It is a state of mind that must permeate your practice.
How to Destroy Motivation
- Instruct your team on exactly how to do their job. Be sure to get hung up on every detail.
- Convey that your ideas and methodology are the best (you are the thinker, they are the doers).
- Censor ideas.
- Play favorites with various team members.
Thanks to Dan for presenting to the Vulcan Village Leadership Living-Learning Community!
This semester the students in the Vulcan Village Leadership Living-Learning Community are participating in a new monthly contest called “Operation Leadership.” Everyone is given a card with a leadership task to complete within a month. Everyone who completes the task with the necessary documentation and evidence gets entered into a raffle to win a $100.00 Visa gift card.
February’s task description was as follows:
Your task is to create and implement a new initiative or project with a non-Vulcan Village university administrator or faculty member that will benefit Cal U. students or the California community at large by 02/25/14. Evidence of the initiative must be made apparent in a community or university publication, press release, or other formal public relations announcement (e.g., Cal Times, California Focus, CUTV, etc.) for the Cal U. community. The initiative / project must be original and cannot be already scheduled for the semester or as part of an existing activity or as a required class or work assignment.
The winner was Tamlynn Bachetti who is not only an LLC participant, but also a graduate assistant for Cal U’s Center for Civic Engagement. She created the “Cal U. Kindness Challenge,” which urges students to perform randoms acts of kindness every week for 10 weeks. The Center for Civic Engagement will choose a random act of kindness created by students and post it on Twitter (@CalUVolunteer) using the #CalUKindness hashtag. The more acts of kindness students perform, the more points get towards the grand prize, which is a finals snack basket filled with awesome treats.
We believe that college students should graduate with the hard and soft skills needed to be marketable for and excel in the workplace. These skills include, but are not limited to, supervising and leading a team, networking, working in diverse environments, and managing difficult situations. Furthermore, today’s graduates need to be able to serve the communities in which they live and work.
The Vulcan Village Leadership Living-Learning Community (LLC) aims to create a comprehensive learning experience complete with hands-on service learning opportunities for California University of PA students living at Vulcan Village.
We encourage you to look through the website and apply to the LLC program.