Leaders are essential to team success. They provide a vision and support team members as they pull together to make that vision a reality. Without a skilled and dedicated leader, teams won’t reach their fullest potential and can even hold entire businesses back.
I’m a believer in the theory that leaders aren’t born, they are taught. As a business coach, I help all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds and levels of experience become effective leaders.
Maintain a Steady Vision
One of your jobs as a leader is to be the visionary. You should be able to see what success will look like and inspire your team to strive for goals that will get you there. This means maintaining a steady vision.
The best leaders know what outcome they are working toward and are steadfast in striving for them. Of course, plans do change and as your business develops, so will your vision. However, as a leader you need to maintain a constant vision of success and what that means for your business, giving your team members something to work toward and look to as they set goals and execute plans.
Be Willing to Roll up your Sleeves
However, being a leader does not mean that you dictate what should happen and then sit back and wait for success. In fact, leaders who do this lose respect, aren’t effective, and in time, end up sabotaging their own teams and efforts.
Being willing to roll up your sleeves means being willing to work side by side with your team members and take on tasks that will lead everyone to success. As you delegate things, take on some responsibility yourself.
This does two things. First, it helps you stay aware of how projects are progressing and gives you a perspective that will help you be more efficient. Second, it makes you a more respectable, credible and likeable leader, as team members see that you are in it and working with them.
Take Organization to the Max
Leaders are also in charge of organization. They should lead in setting timelines for projects, holding people accountable, keeping resources organized and making sure people have what they need to be successful.
Your team members can help you stay organized by reporting to you or you can even ask one team member to archive elements as your project moves forward. However, ultimately, you should be responsible for keeping people, tasks and projects organized.
Use things like to-do lists, project management software, calendars, cloud sharing and even old-fashioned files to keep things organized and easy to access.
Mediate when Necessary
While good leaders don’t micro manage, they do know when they need to step in and mediate to resolve issues and choose a path the entire team can embrace. Even with the right people on your team, business projects inherently come with challenges and teams don’t always work together smoothly.
Changing visions, hurdles, different backgrounds and personalities can all make working as a team difficult. But, this is where a good leader steps in and acts as a mediator.
When needed, you will need to be willing to settle issues, choose a direction the entire team will get behind and make tough decisions even when there is no way you can please everyone. But, the result is a team that is successful and that grows together, becoming more united and ready to face future projects.
Hard work and long projects can take their toll on teams, and it’s your job as a leader to reinvigorate and bring energy to the team, even when things get tough. A tired team will miss opportunities, fail to reach their fullest potential and bring a business down.
On the other hand, energized teams are excited to take on new projects and face challenges with optimism. They take responsibility and help each other be successful. In my experience working on teams and leading them, I’ve seen firsthand how important energetic leaders are.
The best leaders put their teams first. They know how to motivate people to reach for lofty goals and envision success to propel a business forward. Learning to be a good leader is something anyone can do and it’s one of the best things you can do for your business.
If you would like one-on-one coaching to become a better leader, contact me. I help all kinds of professionals become more effective leaders and grow their businesses.