At the head of a great team always stands a great leader. However, being a leader does not mean being the strongest, most ambitious, most confident or even most intelligent. Further, a successful leader doesn’t command from on high, but gets to know their employees. Thus possessing incredible emotional intelligence and the pragmatism to put it into action.
Honesty and transparency are central to good leadership. This means honesty to say what is working and what isn’t. Further understanding people takes time and often they need encouragement to achieve their goals. Therefore, leadership must be honest as it instills trust.
A team needs to be able to trust their leader in any circumstance. For example, team members must be able to come to their leader with a problem and be able to focus on a solution without scrutiny. Constructive criticism is fine but there must be a solution sought after. Further, there is no point in telling an employee they have made a mistake without showing them how to avoid the same mistake again. Thus, Trust is key to having a team follow your direction and leadership. If you don’t have the trust of your team it will be difficult to achieve anything.
Leaders need to know when to get out of the way. This may sound odd, but a great leader allows their workers to be creative in their work and come to the leader for guidance. Further, Delegation skills mean assigning the right task to the right person. This in turn means having a sound understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Thus, being a great leader always comes back to being an emotionally intelligent person.
Leaders must possess high level communication skills. If leaders are unable to clearly communicate what they require from the team, achieving the desired goal becomes difficult. Therefore, an efficient and productive team is dependent on the level of communication they receive from their leader. If the communication is vague then expect mediocre results. However, if the communication is clear, voiced well and understood the results will be of a much higher standard and goals are reached.
Confidence is obviously essential to leadership. Ultimately, no one will follow someone who is visibly unsure of themselves at every step. However, confidence does not have to mean arrogance. Confidence is just showing that you are sure of your teams ability to perform. Further it often means confidence in your employees and that they will take you in the right direction. Humble self-confidence is the ideal trait of a leader and will instinctually cause your team to feel confident in you
Leaders that can motivate; find success. You might not have a world class team working for you but if you can motivate the team world class performances can be achieved. Further, motivating leaders make their team feel important and part of something good. That is the work they are doing is vital to the success of the business. Furthermore, good work is acknowledged and rewarded. Also incentives can be very motivating. For example, breaks away from the office can be refreshing and motivating. This can be done by participating in a fun team building activity.
Lead by example. That is show you’re committed to the team, business and vision. Further, don’t lock yourself away in the office, be part of the team and show your commitment. If you commit to something make sure you follow through. For example, if you tell your team that there will be a BBQ put on for them on a Friday afternoon, make sure there is a BBQ for them on Friday afternoon! Your team will know you’re committed and they will respect you even more.
Great leaders are creative. The ability to be creative is important because not every problem or task has a black and white solution or outcome. Furthermore showing creativity inspires your team to think outside the box too. Thus bringing out hidden talents in your team. If you embrace creativity, it will allow your team to feel comfortable to take calculated risks. Further they will try new innovative things which at times can have big benefits to the business.
Attitude is contagious so why not spread positivity. That is don’t show you are worried about things too much to your team. Ultimately, they have to see you are positive in order to feel secure and confident in you. Also positivity just makes for a fun and vibrant workplace.
Last but not least a great workplace is one where people want to work there. Further, a leader sets the workplace environment. It is not easy but a great leader will make a workplace fun even when work is hard and hours are long. Ultimately, a happy worker is a productive worker
As you may be starting to realise being a leader is an incredibly difficult yet incredibly rewarding task. Therefore, make sure you are being the best leader you can be by taking you and your team to some team building exercises. Trust, honesty, confidence and communication are all skills that can be worked on. Further taking them out of the office often hurries the whole process along. Therefore, not only will team building activities increase the productivity of your team, they actually help produce that illusive atmosphere of fun in the office.
”The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly”