Develop your Team

Leadership

If you could strategically pick people to create the ultimate team would the people on your team now make the cut?  If they would, why would they?  If not, why wouldn’t they?  If they could do the same, would you be on the team?

Teams are the life blood of organizations.  They provide results, growth and function.  We often don’t assess the team as if it’s a one person with many different abilities. We identify a team as a group of individuals with many talents.  Most people on the team will play to their strengths.  It’s natural that we step forward when we are familiar with something that we know.  Our weaknesses on the other hand often go unplayed and undeveloped.  We’ve all heard the phrase, “A team is strong as its weakest link.”  Another way to look at it is one person’s weakness becomes the team’s weakness.  

Sometimes people don’t know what their weaknesses are.  It takes feedback from others to point them out.  How well do you provide feedback as a team?  Have you sat collectively as a team and talked about your weaknesses? If not, why not?  Every team needs to have a 360 degree view of what they’re capable of being. 

The only way to grow as a team is to learn as a team and develop as a team.  Sure, it does take individual parts to move and do so, but above all, if you’re going to be a team then develop as a team.  Growing together strengthens the team.  One of the hardest things to do is take a diverse group of people and work together in one direction.  A successful team crosses the finish line together.  Win or lose. 

As a leader, what are you doing to help develop the team?  Are you providing feedback when necessary?  Are you not only improving weaknesses, but identifying potential?  Leadership is essential to the progression of any team.  Without even saying it most people know the leader on their team.  Are you that leader?  If so, what are you doing to help develop your team?  It would be awesome to be able to strategically pick your ultimate team, but you don’t need to in order to have a great team.  You can create the ultimate team by investing in your current team’s development!

Leaders Who Lead

Leadership, Organization

If you work in an environment with responsibility over the productivity, well-being and morale of team members, then you are a leader. I like to use team members and not employees because no one actually works for you, they work with you and in that, your actions may very well drive their results.

Leadership is influence. – John Maxwell

You may not want to lead, you may not be leading, but you are in a leadership role.  The effectiveness or the ineffectiveness of what you do determines how great of a leader you are or will be.  This is what we call influence.  The outcome of what you input persuades the beliefs of what your team members can perceive as controlling or a team player. A controlling leader won’t get the most cooperative followers, which will produce a tension based work center among your members. Your goal as a leader is to create an environment that allows your team members to learn, grow and enhance their greatest potential.  This is how we also create more leaders.

There are leaders and there are those who lead. – Simon Sinek

Team members want someone to lead the way.  They want someone who is going to get their hands dirty with them.  One of the hardest things to do is bring together a diverse group of strangers and build a fluid environment of effective leaders and followers that drive high quality results.  It won’t happen right way, it may take months, maybe even years, but it can be done.  Your role is to seek out the best in your team members and harness it into a culture of trust, reliability and productivity.

Here are 3 ways to help you become a leader who leads.

Know your team!  Before you can play a game you must know your team member’s strengths and weaknesses.  There are countless group activities that help identify each person’s influential traits. Find a way to learn about each person on your team. When you do this, team members begin to see that you’re not just there to ‘boss people around,’ but you’re there for them!  Get to know your team!

Get your hands dirty! The difference between a boss and a leader is leaders don’t sit in an office all day telling people what to do.  Leaders get involved with their team members.  When they see you standing next to them, that shows them that you care, it shows them that you’re not above them.  If you’re going to lead people, you must be there with people every step of the way. If they are getting their hands dirt, you should be getting your hands dirty.

Invest in their potential! Along side of knowing your team, it’s very important that you see potential in your team members.  Most people will not realize the things they are great at.  Leaders see this and can cultivate a way that allows each person to contribute that skill or skills.  When team members feel like they are great at something, they tend to focus on doing what they know.  Collectively if each member is good at a different skill, they can create a great superhero.  This also allows each of them to become leaders in that skill and often end up teaching those around them that skill as well.  Invest in their potential.