These aren’t the only factors needed for team success, but these are both important and practical for every leader.
BE BOLD: When it comes to the success of your team, your people resources trump everything else. Simply put, you need the best people playing on your team. This is something team leaders should never overlook. Be bold about asking rockstar level talent to come work with you because, in the end, teams are only as good as the people on them.
BE CLEAR: High performing teams have clear expectations. This may be one of the greatest tools for effective team leadership, especially in a collaborative or decentralized type working environment. Never let meetings end without knowing that accountabilities are clear. Don’t fall victim to increased complexity. Fight for simplicity and clarity in your direction and individual accountability. Action often gets lost in ambiguity.
Action often gets lost in ambiguity.
BE AUTHENTIC: Getting team leaders and members on the same page is critical. Unfortunately, this is often an elusive task due to muddy relationships and lack of unity. Great teams need trust, a sense of common values, and unified direction. As a team leader, be open with your team whenever it is appropriate so they feel connected and in "in the loop". Keeping information from your team is keeping buy-in from your team. Transparency puts the team in common step and drives alignment throughout the group. Great teams have a culture that promotes authenticity.
DEVELOP: Great leaders add value to those they lead. Your team's effectiveness will increase as you take on the responsibility of helping them develop in their skills. Never shirk on your responsibility as a team leader to develop your members. Teams grow in proportion to the development of the people within them. To grow your team, you must grow your people. It’s important that team leaders focus on providing opportunities not only for training, but also for broadening the horizons of members.
Teams grow in proportion to the development of the people within them.
SET GOALS: If there is only one thing you do as a team leader to ensure success, be sure there is a clear goal or vision to run after. The success of teamwork is incredibly dependent on clearly defined purpose that unifies and clarifies. Without concrete vision our teams may run hard, but in varying directions. Great team goals clarify the working direction but don’t put the blinders on too tight. They allow team members to make links between their strengths and the overall direction of the team.
INQUIRE: Leaders have many roles, but when it comes to team leadership asking the right questions and listening well is critical. Great team leaders have an incredible ability to ask guiding questions and steer conversation. When done correctly, I truly believe that teams of quality, motivated, people will arrive at the right place on their own. Listen to the conversations taking place and work hard at guiding discussion and discovery. This is a hallmark of effective team leaders.
What have you found to be instrumental in effective team leadership?