Leading a team is not always the easiest of jobs. Some days you just want to go back into the field and work with vendors and customers. You can get immediate gratification by being a “doer” and ignoring team issues for a while. Unfortunately, they’ll always come back to plague your team’s development without you at the helm. As a leadership coach, I work with my clients to take the path that they think will be most productive. As you might expect, they seldom all go the same direction.
Here are five ways a team leader or can be more effective in leading their people to success:
- Create a compelling vision of what success looks like and then lead to it. Your responsibility as a leader is to paint a picture of your idealized future, support everyone in knowing and understanding that vision, and inspire your team to reach for it. For example, a strong sales leader keeps the basics in front of the team and keeps a vision of building from those basics time and time again.
- Step into your leadership role so that your team sees you as a leader. Make decisions that make sense so that you can explain them to the team. Your whole team will start to perceive you as the leader (in more than name) and look to you for visionary guidance.
- Keep your commitments and expect the same from others. Your commitments are a promise to your vision, to yourself, and to your team. When you break your promises, what can you expect to have happen with your team? Keep your commitments, and it will be easier to expect the same from others. Support your team members in making commitments they can keep and praise them for doing so.
- Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each team member. One of the most important pieces for success is knowing what the target looks like. Clear task and role expectations will prevent things from dropping through the cracks.
- Review, adjust, and repeat. Part of the leader’s vision is to keep everyone on track. Your responsibility requires you to stepback, evaluate progress, and then adjust. Then you do it again.
What can you expect? While you aren’t guaranteed success, you can rest assured that you are closer to your ultimate goal than you would be otherwise. Your team will be more engaged and productive that they would be otherwise. In short, you are taking your best shot to get what you want.