10 Tips for Leading Your Team

leadership-image-2What does leadership mean? Dictators command from a position of fear but fail to inspire genuine respect. A true leader builds a thriving corporate culture through authenticity and trust. If you aspire to lead a team, you must first inspire by your example:

 

  1. Be Authentic – Bravado may instill fearful obedience, but authenticity is rewarded with respect. Stop trying to “act like the boss,” and let your team see you as a real person. Be humble enough to admit mistakes. Remember, you share a common humanity with those beneath you on the organizational chart. Being real will win respect.
  2. Accentuate the Positive – Being critical is one of the quickest ways to demotivate people. Actively look for things to praise. Positive reinforcement makes it easier to swallow corrective instruction. Be intentional about giving positive feedback and compassionate when addressing problems.
  3. Focus on Results – Authentic leaders are driven by the mission, not by self-interests like ego or money. Personal sacrifices are often required to accomplish organizational goals. A leader’s focus should be on continuous improvement of the team, not personal gain.
  4. Create a Culture of Leadership – Leaders inspire other leaders. When people “catch” a leader’s vision, they carry it to all levels of the organization. A good leader instills confidence and courage. Light a flame of passion that will grow brighter as it spreads.
  5. Communicate Constantly – When a change needs to be made, good leaders make the effort to explain why. Leadership means communicating how a change will benefit the company and being honest about anticipated challenges as the change is implemented. Direct, authentic communication builds trust.
  6. Don’t Forget to Listen – An essential part of good communication is careful listening. Don’t be so focused on presenting information that you fail to hear others’ perspectives. Schedule regular meetings with your employees and ask for suggestions. Failing to listen could mean a missed opportunity for organizational improvement.
  7. Understand Motivators – People want to feel they are in integral part of something valuable. While good pay and benefits are important, they cannot sustain long-term satisfaction. Leaders identify what motivates each of their employees and manage accordingly. Just as parenting requires adaptability, so does management. Get to know your people as individuals.
  8. Set the Bar High – People have a tendency to meet expectations. Be careful not to set them too low. An effective leader puts forth a goal, offers insight for achieving it and expects success. Believe in your people and you will be amazed what they can accomplish.
  9. Be a Servant – Follow in the footsteps of great leaders like Jesus, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. A servant leader is concerned with the personal growth of those who follow. In business, a servant leader is “in the trenches” with employees, not up in an ivory tower. True leaders won’t ask employees to do anything they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves.
  10. Lead with Integrity – Corruption and hypocrisy kill corporate success. A leader’s integrity is what truly inspires. Leaders are tasked with creating a safe environment and a culture of trust. When a leader’s word is not good, people lose faith in the organization and its goals.

 

Leadership isn’t about bossing people around; it’s about building a team that continually works toward a common goal. People are your company’s greatest asset, and this asset becomes more valuable as you invest in it. Brink Results can help you “Lead Right” through management workshops designed to help you better understand your leadership role and teach you how to best motivate your people.