EP:195 How to Become an Incredible Leader, with Keara Mascareñaz
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EP:195 How to Become an Incredible Leader, with Keara Mascareñaz

As a leader, there are many different ways you can create change within your team. “Change can be made at the structural level by redesigning the way teams are organized, at the team level by refining the way collaboration happens or at the individual level by evolving personal habits and practices.”

Often leaders try to redesign the way teams are organized by delegating tasks and creating to-do lists. Asana is a great resource but before meaningful teamwork can happen, some attention needs to be given to creating a foundation of trust through positive work habits.

Our world is becoming more and more online and there is a need to shift to a more responsive and humane way of interacting as a team so people feel like they belong to something greater than just tasks on a to-do list.

This week on the unconventional life podcast is Keara Mascareñaz. Keara is the author of The New Team Habits: A Guide To The New School Rules. (Soon to be released!)  Keara helps schools and districts build and scale a culture of innovation through leadership development, team habits, and human-centered organizational design.

In this episode, Keara shares three habits from her book that build a foundation for positive, lasting changes among your team.

Check in’s
Increases presence and equal talk time in meetings

“Meetings are a powerful place to change the way you engage and work with each other. By shifting the way you start your meetings, you can change the tone, engagement, and ultimately culture of your meetings and your team.”

Some sample check-in questions for the beginning of the meeting;
Where are you on a scale of one to five
what’s occupying your mind?
What are you worried about this week
what was your childhood nickname?
when did you get in the most trouble right?
what’s a mistake you made and what did you learn from it?

They can range from really short and fun to very deep and serious. Keara believes that if teams can consistently start meeting this way, check-ins can really enhance the level of trust and create strong bonds between people.

Talk about mistakes
Model vulnerability so that the team learns and grows together

“If you want to create a culture of learning and develop a growth mindset with your team members, you need to nurture an environment in which individuals are safe to share both learnings and failures.”

Keara shares that the first step to creating a culture of safety is being willing to make yourself vulnerable to others. It is important for the leader or role of authority to admit their own mistakes as a way to signal to others that they are also learning and that mistakes are not bad, but simply opportunities for improvement.

“Learning expands to include;

Kick-off work
Increase clarity on purpose and roles so that the team is more agile in adjusting our plans to meet the collective purpose.

“A team’s mission is like its north star, it’s the direction everybody will march even if there isn’t
a guarantee the team will reach it: Vasco de Gama circumnavigating the globe, Lewis and Clark
reaching the Pacific, or Elon Musk colonizing Mars. A mission is useless if its members don’t
understand why it’s important or what their role is on it.”

Kicking off a project requires each individual to have clear expectations of their role and purpose so each team member is rowing the boat in the same direction.

If you loved these 3 tips on how to step up your team leadership and improve your team dynamics then check out the book,The New Team Habits: A Guide To The New School Rules  The book is packed with detailed explanations of each habit, a workbook with reflective exercises for your to guide your team through, reflections and other great articles and TED talks that exploring team dynamics, its definitely a recommended read!


The New Team Habits book + a Swag bag full of extra surprises 😉 To be entered to win the giveaway, click here. A winner will be selected next week.

Get in touch

On Twitter #teamhabits or Kieramas

Or on the New Team Habits website