Valencia Leaders Share Insights on Becoming an Inspirational Leader – Part III

Valencia supervisors are inspiring their teams and setting the stage for increased levels of employee engagement and peak team performance through a five-step action plan outlined in the Talent Management magazine article “Are You an Inspirational Leader?” This third installment in the series focuses on the importance of showing appreciation and celebrating meaningful results. Tracey Olsen-Oliver, director of student development, shares how she inspires her team by taking time to recognize accomplishments.

Step Three: Celebrate and show gratitude for early wins. For a team to be inspired, it must feel appreciated. The most appropriate time to celebrate and show gratitude is when the team has delivered a meaningful result. To keep the fires of inspiration stoked, leaders should make sure to identify and enable an early win.

One critical area Tracey considers in her daily interactions with her team is relationship building.In order for my team to achieve more, everything that is done must come from a position of genuineness and concern for the unique personalities of each individual on my team, in addition to the professional skills they possess to get the job done,” Tracy explained.

As a new supervisor at Valencia, Tracey’s team expressed to her the importance of keeping student development ‘notables’ on their monthly team agenda.

While each member of the team contributes to team success on a daily basis, there are many times when work effort and productivity far exceeds what would normally be needed to complete the task,” Tracey shared. “With that in mind, student development has instituted the Matador Spirit Award that exists to recognize sustained efforts of work ethic and productivity above and beyond the normal daily routine.”

The award is given through a nomination process, and each month a Matador Spirit recipient is selected. The recipient receives a departmental “proclamation” (suitable for framing) and gets “custody” of the Matador Spirit Bull that resides with the recipient for a month until the next Matador Spirit recipient is named. All nominees and the recipient are specifically mentioned in departmental meeting minutes.

“As a supervisor, I am always on the lookout for notable events and achievements on my team, and like to let others know about the good works the department is doing for the students of Valencia,” Tracy said.

Tracy believes that when colleagues and co-workers truly believe that an underlying concern for the individual exists, they are willing to invest more of themselves into the work that must be done as a matter of both personal and team pride.

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