I have learned…ok, I am still learning…that it’s not easy to become a great leader. Leading requires lots of practice, patience, and commitment. Breaking these words down into one word: time. I have to spend time with my team and I have to think about each one as an individual as well. There is no set-and-forget in leadership. Greet your team members every day, if possible individually. Appreciate them even when the achievement is small. A leader is the one who not only just shows the direction to achieve the goal, he/she also travels with the team and supports all their efforts to achieve the mission.
“Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders… They set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role, always about the goal.”
Here are some of my learnings in leading my team, that might help you:
- I am a part of the team. Not above it. I still make cold calls with the team each month.
- I have to bring my “A” game every day as the leader. I feed energy to my team.
- I do not let conflict simmer. We address it, and move on. See “Meet opposition head on” below.
- Motivation is daily…for everyone.
- Team development and personal development can be accretive. I look for ways to grow my team members personally in ways that help our mission.
- Hire GREAT people. Full stop.
There are thousands of books on leadership. Today, I wanted to just get our minds thinking about being a leader. Below is a fine article on other traits for great leaders I thought I would share.
If you have some simple (or not so simple) leadership learnings, please send me an email. I am a ‘work in progress’ leader.
Rule # 7 from my book The Fantastic Life: Be Value Driven
Leaders lead from a place of integrity. If you don’t know or live by your values, how can you expect others to?
Seven Traits Great Team Leaders Prioritize
By CPollinger | PublishedJune 28, 2021
Great team leaders have learned to juggle a thousand different priorities. Multi-tasking, delegating and leveraging are all skills great team leaders have had to develop to continue to grow. The bigger the team gets, the more important these seven behaviors are.
Live the team’s core values and principles.
Great team leaders know their primary responsibility is to make people feel great about the team. This starts with the team itself. The leader needs to embody the team’s core values. They understand they set the tone for the culture, both good and bad. They lead from the front and set an example.
Takes an active role in the team’s sales, which includes shaping sales strategy and tactics.
The bigger and more diverse the team, the more removed the leader tends to get from the street. Great leaders purposely stay connected to the front lines, especially with those who are driving revenue. By working hand in hand with those driving sales, they lead with authority. In an industry which is constantly evolving and changing, they are active in responding with practical and actionable strategies and tactics.
Never underestimates the importance of details.
While it is not important to know everything, it is crucial to know enough to ask and answer questions. The details hold the secret to greatness. Great anything never took the attitude that good was good enough. Great leaders have their fingers on the pulse of their business. When they feel something is not right, they know where to dig to fix the problems.
Meets opposition head on.
Great leaders aren’t afraid of conflict. Any opposition, both internally and externally is dealt with directly. They boldly protect the team’s best interests. Conflict isn’t seen as a bad thing as long as it’s constructive and good for their clients and the team.
Recognizes the difference between being “tough” and being “mean.”
Tough leaders are caring, fair, and respectful of others. Mean leaders haven’t learned to control their tempers. Outbursts aren’t attractive with children, they are downright ugly and inexcusable with adults. Great leaders inspire, hold high standards and build people up to meet them.
Never underestimates the importance of hiring the right people.
Selecting the wrong candidate in a hurried situation can be costly. The right people are always hard to find. Getting the right person, for the right role, at the right time is an art form. Great team leaders take their time in hiring and address hiring errors quickly.
Fosters an environment that encourages constructive criticism.
Good leaders tend to have inflated egos and are sensitive to feedback. Great leaders are secure in who they are and encourage constructive criticism. They know surrounding themselves with “yes” people limits their progress. They understand they need to hear differing opinions to grow. They want to be challenged. The development of the team depends on it.
Great team leaders have a million things to squeeze into each day. Clients, vendors, staff and associates all clamor for attention and time. Good team leaders handle all the demands, but do so a bit frantically and at the edge of their control. By prioritizing the seven traits above, great leaders handle it all with grace, poise and enough left over to enjoy life along the way.