There are a lot of ways to lead a team. Usually leaders will develop a style that matches their own strengths, as they pursues goals. Each goal reached is a victory used to catapult the team to another level. By utilizing various techniques, good leaders influence their teams to expected ends. There are 5 things leader must do everytime in order to maximize their effectiveness and be part of a winning team.
- Leaders must define the team – Get the right people in the right positions. Ask them if they want to participate in the project. Sounds weird, but sometimes, you will get a “no, I don’t really want to do that”. Describe the obstacles and hurdles to success, then give them the odds of winning. Ensuring that everyone understands what they’re up against and what the team will have to overcome will help get a truthful response. Then a leader can decide if it’s truly over their head, or if this becomes a development opportunity.
- Leaders must define success – Goal setting. Setting expectations. Vision casting. Someone has to set a course and earn the buy-in of the team. This is done by communicating the “why”, then asking, “how can we get there?” Leaders should solicit ways to increase the odds of success directly from the team. People can be very resourceful, given the chance.
- Leaders must support the team – Provide necessary resources and assistance. Do what you say you’ll do. Be honest and say “no” if necessary. Give the team the problem and let them solve it. Leaders don’t come up with all the answers, they put the right people in the room and support them while they solve problems and gain experience. A true leader will even fall back and put the team in the spotlight and allow them to gain recognition and accolades.
- Leaders must hold the team accountable – At times, people will not perform up to the standard and it’s up to the leader to call them out. If the leader fails here, the team will lose the respect for the leader and the high performers will begin slacking or quit. Why should they work hard if laziness isn’t treated with disdain by the leadership?
- Leaders must follow up – Ensure that the final product or service created is up to the standard as described in #1. If not, a true leader will make adjustments. Trusting the team is necessary, but a “gut-check” every now and then doesn’t hurt anyone. A good leader stays on their toes and understands what’s going on. Only way to do that is to come from behind the desk…
There you have it. I will venture out on a limb and say that if you remove one of these 5 things, your chances for long term success will drastically drop. Stay engaged and involved.