Leaders In The Field

Although employees may be forced to work together, a good leader will recognize that each person will have different talents, strengths, shortcomings, and needs.

In either case, the person in charge must adapt to those differences to convince the team to work effectively. And each member of the team must be treated fairly; no one should receive more than the others.

However, not everyone can be treated exactly the same. The leader needs to determine the best method of training, directing, evaluating, correcting, and rewarding each member to get the team to perform at the highest level.

Every team needs the right equipment.

It takes time to do these tasks in a consistent manner. The person in charge must be consistent in his or her directing style so as not to confuse anyone. Individuals will expect to be treated the same for what they do well, and for what they don’t do well.

Evaluate The Group

Once a task is completed, the leader must evaluate the quality of the work and the methods used:

  • What would improve the team’s performance?
  • What were the obstacles the team faced?
  • How did I communicate the changes to them?
  • When did I communicate those changes?

Whether it’s on a field or in an office, the leader needs to know the team’s skills, abilities, and personalities to make those decisions. The biggest question he or she must answer is, “How do I motivate this team to go and do it all over again tomorrow?”

Apples, please.

Todd Brown is the Resource Management Division’s Operations Branch Manager at the Fairfax County Park Authority in Virginia. He grew up as, and remains at heart, a farmer. He can be reached at todd.brown@fairfaxcounty.gov.


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