Business Continuity

Resolutions for Leading Your Team Better in 2022

Leadership is no easy task and requires considerable ongoing effort to get it right. With 2022 on the horizon, now is the time to identify how you will be intentional in your leadership growth next year. Here are some simple yet powerful suggestions to help you become a more effective leader. 

Lean into difficult conversations. 

When we are faced with a difficult conversation that we expect will be uncomfortable, it is natural to want to avoid it for as long as possible, hoping that it will go away or somehow resolve itself. When we do this, we run the risk of never actually solving the problem (in fact, it will probably get worse), and we also dread the conversation in the meantime. 

This year, embrace the discomfort and have these conversations right away. You will find that issues will be resolved more quickly, and you will avoid the stressful anticipation of a conversation that probably won’t be as bad as you think. 

Focus on the little things (make it personal). 

The big things in business like strategy, staffing, training, sales, and performance are crucial. These are what enable our businesses to thrive. However, while the big things are vital, people remember the little things. For example, something as simple as inviting a different team member to lunch every week or saying some words of recognition at a team meeting for a job well done. 

I would challenge you to go even further by adding a personal touch whenever possible. People find it especially thoughtful when you do something for them that is clearly tailor-made just for them. Rather than giving someone a generic gift card, pay attention to their interests or hobbies and give gifts that solve a problem or enrich their life.

Adding a personal touch isn’t limited to just gifts; the key is to show you care. It doesn’t cost anything to tell someone that you hope they enjoy their upcoming trip and make recommendations or ask a team member how their child’s team did in the big game over the weekend. These are no-cost ways to connect with and energize your team in a big way. 

Give trust a chance. 

I don’t just mean trusting that someone will do something that they say they will do. On our team, trust means an open flow of communication without fear of unreasonable repercussions, belittling, or exclusion. Without trust, people may feel they need to bend or hide the truth to protect themselves or their peers. Some team members may hold back great ideas for fear of judgment. 

It may seem soft but give it a chance. I will not pretend that managers don’t sometimes need to be tough, but these qualities don’t need to be mutually exclusive; in fact, being direct is much more effective when there is already a foundation of trust in the relationship. The key to building trust is first demonstrating that you care for each of your team members. Then, make sure that they understand that you are committed to helping them reach their goals and that you believe they are an important part of that team effort. This way, if problems arise later, your team will trust that you truly do have their best interest at heart. 

Ask for criticism. 

If you consider yourself a great leader, but your team does not, are you really a great leader? Even if your team does consider you a great leader, don’t you owe it to them to become even better? The best way to do this is what is also the most uncomfortable way for many leaders – ask your team for criticism and humbly accept their response. Notice I did not say ask your team for feedback. What if the only feedback they give you is positive because that’s all they think you want to hear? If you want honest critical feedback from your team, you need to be crystal clear that you’ll take positive feedback, but what you’re really after is constructive feedback, the stuff you can act on. 

It isn’t enough to ask just once – you will need to ask repeatedly for the rest of your career as a leader. After your team gets used to being asked and finds that they can answer without fear of danger (this requires trust), then you will start to get really great feedback that opens your eyes to improvements you can make that you may never have known about otherwise. 

Have more fun. 

You are entitled to have fun at what you do. After all, you spend most of your waking time doing it! If you are not having fun with your job, and specifically with the team you are leading, this is the year to ask yourself what you need to do to make it so. Leaders have more energy and a better attitude when they are enjoying themselves, and teams with energetic leaders tend to perform better. 

If you are already having plenty of fun, you are not off the hook yet! Is your team having fun too? If your answer is no, you should make it your mission to help them find ways to better enjoy their work. Chances are that if you do this, you will get better results as a team. 

Every team is different, but I am confident that these practices can help you become a better leader and vastly improve your company culture. If you already practice some or all of them, that’s great! If not, I hope that you’ll accept the challenge to begin working these practices into your leadership style in the new year. 

Here at KiteTech, we are passionate about developing leaders and a team culture that thrives no matter the circumstances we face. One way we do this is by keeping our core values at the forefront of everything we do. We call them Our Flight Plan, and they guide our day-to-day interactions internally and with our clients. As a team, we are also committed to taking advantage of the many resources available to help us grow and improve our leadership skills. Below are some great books that have inspired me to lead my team differently in the ways mentioned above.

Lean into difficult conversations: Crucial Conversations – Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition: Patterson, Kerry, Grenny, Joseph, McMillan, Ron, Switzler, Al: 8580001040288: Books

Focus on the little things: Tiny Noticeable Things – Tiny Noticeable Things: The Secret Weapon to Making a Difference in Business (Audible Audio Edition): Adrian Webster, Liam Gerrard, Gildan Media: Books

Give trust a chance: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable: Lencioni, Patrick: 0352713295663: Books

Have fun: The Humor Advantage – The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank eBook : Kerr, Michael: Kindle Store

Ask for criticism: Thanks for the Feedback – Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well: Stone, Douglas, Heen, Sheila: 9780143127130: Books

Picture of Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert

Chief Operating Officer
Kite Technology Group

Understanding Redundant Internet Connections

A reliable internet connection is critical to the productivity of most businesses today. Without it, your employees cannot work, teams cannot be productive, and you may be unable to serve your clients. An internet outage or disruption can cost your business hundreds if not thousands of dollars for every minute offline. With mission-critical systems such as phones, email, and work applications living in the cloud, losing internet connection is like losing electricity.

When there is an internet outage, there is little that you can do until the Internet Service Provider (ISP) brings their connection back online. Waiting for the ISP to solve the issue can be highly frustrating for you, your employees, and customers as your ability to serve them is affected. That is where having a redundant internet connection comes in – it minimizes the impact that internet disruptions can have on running your business and serving your clients.

What is Redundant Internet?

Redundant internet is a second internet provider link that allows a company to continue working if one connection point experiences interruption. Also known as a failover internet connection, redundant circuits ensure that there is no single point of failure in the connection path to the web. Think of a redundant circuit as a backup generator that can power on at a moment’s notice and keep email and data flowing without skipping a beat.

Your IT provider can configure a redundant connection in different ways depending on your most essential business systems. For example, suppose calls are the primary tool for conducting business. In that case, your IT Provider can set up IP (Internet Protocol) Phone systems to always operate based on the redundant link.

What is Needed for Redundant Internet?

When planning for a redundant internet connection, the main requirement is getting 2 unique ISPs at the desired location. Using different ISPs gives the best chance for continued internet uptime and operation. In the event one ISP experiences a problem, the other service should be unaffected.

Another requirement is a firewall capable of automatic failover.  Finally, you will also need the proper system configuration to respond to network outages. An IT Provider like Kite Technology can make recommendations on developing a suitable redundant internet solution to meet your business needs.

Types of Internet Connections

Internet connections come in several types and price points and redundancy occurs when you have two or more active connections. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Cable internet service providers use coaxial connections to deliver service and are the most common and widespread option. Cable internet can provide high speed at the lowest price points. Often, Cable service is delivered across aging infrastructure which may present occasional service outages.  Another concern with Cable service is that it is normally shared access, meaning the users in a geographic area (neighborhood) are sharing the bandwidth, and significant usage in that area will impact the speed available to others in that same area.  
  2. Fiber-based internet is another strong option to consider. Fiber provides some of the highest speeds for businesses and is becoming more cost competitive. Fiber provides a dedicated service that is not impacted by the activity of neighboring users, and for the most part Fiber is delivered on fairly new infrastructure which has significantly better uptime.
  3. Dedicated access internet circuits were previously the gold standard with names like T1 and EOC. Those copper-based services provided great stable connections with solid uptime, but are being depreciated in favor of fiber based direct connections.
  4. Wireless point-to-point internet access or mobile 5G solutions are also coming into the market. The major carriers like Verizon, and T-Mobile and even new startups like StarLink are significantly improving the wireless access to the internet. These are both residential and business class services and work well for rural and other areas not in reach of the classic copper and fiber services.

Is Redundant Internet Right for Your Business?

If you rely on the internet to get your work done and service your clients, a redundant connection is strongly advised. A failover connection could pay for itself several times over in the event of a single period of downtime. Hours or days of productivity could be lost if the internet goes down, which has a significant impact on the bottom line. Technical issues, construction, natural or building level disasters at an Internet Service Provider are just a few of the threats beyond your control. Having a redundant internet connection is a best next step to keep critical data constantly flowing.

Here at KiteTech, we continually monitor and test emerging technologies for the benefit of our clients. We take pride in helping our clients leverage technology like redundant internet access to help them operate more effectively and securely. If you would like to learn more about how our IT Services can help you improve your business performance, please reach out. We’re here to help!

Picture of Ryan Emerick

Ryan Emerick

Client Experience Manager
Kite Technology Group

adam atwell

Adam Atwell

Cloud solutions architect

Adam is passionate about consulting with organizations across the country to help them develop and execute a cloud adoption strategy that meets their business needs and future objectives. Adam oversees and manages our company strategy for Microsoft 365 adoption and is responsible for future growth and development inside Microsoft 365 and other cloud technologies.