Extraordinary leadership is an art. It is one part genetic disposition, one part skill development and one part passion for the people they serve. Great team leaders come in a variety of styles and personalities. They have been born out of every background, nationality, sex, orientation and creed. In truth, there are very few things they all have in common. Through years of research, we have found four things that all great team leaders do.
They select the right person for the right role.
Traditional wisdom tells us to hire based on experience, intelligence and determination alone. While all those are important, great leaders look past those and look for true untapped talent. Interviewing for this is an art. Few people even know what their true talents are. To start, develop clear, defined roles for each person and role on the team. These will help with screening out the qualified candidates and identify the truly exceptional ones.
In the minds of great leaders, every role on the team performed well deserves respect. Each person has different roles, but they all are essential and have the same inherent value. If the team could function the same without a role or the person in it, then they shouldn’t be on the team. Remember, excellence is impossible to achieve without natural talent.
They set the bar on expectations of each person.
Every person on the team needs to know their expected outcomes. Great leaders define outcomes to achieve. Average leaders identify how to do a process. Below average micro managers will try and do both and rarely achieve either.
Each person should all know what they are trying to achieve as a team. As well as how they all contribute to that goal as individuals. Everyone should know why and how they get paid. Why they get paid MUST be in alignment with what is best for your customer, your team and the individual.
They motivate each person on the team.
Think inspiration, not control. The best leaders focus on their team member’s individual strengths. They let them be more of who they already are.
Great leaders have learned the art of managing around weaknesses. They choose to build on strengths. They help each person discover their inherent strengths. As an aside, we have an assessment for this we use with our clients which I am happy to share with you if you shoot me a message. At the end of the day remember, everyone has the ability to be exceptional at something.
They develop each person to their highest potential.
Each person has a unique set of skills, background and interests. The great team leaders take the time to discover the potential of each team member. Then they invest the time and resources to coach and develop.
Each person needs to find their highest and best fit within the team. Exceptional team leaders create heroes who achieve. Each person is recognized and celebrated for their unique contribution. There isn’t competition between members in this space. The leader helps put each person on their own, hand-crafted pedestal. This takes a dedicated amount of consistent feedback, coaching and mentoring.
Extraordinary leadership is an art.
Leading a team isn’t easy. It takes a separate skill set than being a solo operator. Great team leaders know they have to dig for talent to select the right person for the right role. They are good at setting expectations for each person based on the outcomes that are best for the customer, the team and the team member. Brilliant leaders motivate through highlighting and celebrating each person’ strengths. Most important, they have a passion to inspire each person on the team to be the very best versions of themselves.