The Leadership Your Team Needs for Success
Leading a team to success goes beyond motivating people. And new thinking sheds light on what’s really needed to lead a successful team.
In a previous blog post, we talked about what leadership really is, and that it goes beyond simply inspiring people and motivating them to take action. True leadership means also understanding both your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your team—and how to leverage those strengths.
But as a leader, how do you lead your team to success?
Does a leader always need to be an executive?
No. But it’s important to understand the differences between leadership and management and how the skill sets complement each other. Leaders and managers are both focused on two things: developing people and delivering team or organizational success.
Leadership is about creating the overall vision and objective. Management is about executing on that vision with a team of people. What’s interesting is that in a Gallup study, 70% of the variance in a team’s engagement is influenced by the manager.(1)
What does a successful team look like?
Success can be measured and defined differently but when you think of a successful team, it’s where individuals are positioned to do what they do best and they get the support and resources they need to do their best work.
Leading a successful team means you need to identify the individual contributions each person makes to the whole, including yourself. Conventional wisdom says a leader should then develop individual weaknesses but new thinking says it’s better to invest where individuals are naturally strong. At the same time, being aware of weaknesses and accounting for those areas is critical. For example, other team members who are strong in areas where some aren’t can pick up the ball.
What’s the key to leading a successful team?
A successful team that’s operating from each individual’s strengths needs a leader who will clearly define objectives and outcomes expected. Once you’ve established the “what,” you can focus on working best as a team to achieve those goals. Understanding how your team collaborates most efficiently and placing individuals in the roles that best fit them.
The bottom line for leading a successful team is to know and focus on your strengths and the strengths of your team. Focusing on skills that come naturally to you and your team will help you succeed daily. When you intentionally apply the strengths of your team, that’s when your life and the lives of those you lead begin to change.