Leaders are the people who guide companies into the future and inspire people to follow them along the way. In this article we discuss the specific thought processes that a leader uses to transform a team from average to awesome—into one cohesive, highly motivated team who are willing to go the extra mile to meet objectives.
1. Tell Them Why
It’s not good enough to order people to work just “because you told them to.” A smart leader tells them the objectives because he knows that knowledge will make them work harder to achieve them. They may not like the work but they’ll do it because you’re open with them and they understand the purpose. Their eyes will be focused on the goal. Open communications achieves far more than proceeding on a “need to know” basis.
2. Lead from the Front
Instead of hiding in an office, a true leader stands on the front line with his team and holds the light to shine the way. A great leader is supercharged with an enthusiastic energy that’s highly contagious and lasts for a very long time. People will follow leaders voluntarily because they’re inspirational and empowering. Leaders are trustworthy, supportive and deserve the respect of those who follow them, although they do nothing with that in mind.
3. Open Communication
The bond between a true leader and your team is very much a supportive give and take relationship. You’re always open to new ideas and feedback and are prepared to try new things if they seem appropriate, regardless of where the idea originated. Credit is always given where due. Everyone is treated equally. Firm but fair is the leader’s policy. So, wherever the bar is set, at least everyone knows where they stand. This is very important because, in a team environment, favoritism can be the cause of major strife.
4. Leaders Create Leaders
Leaders transform current followers into new leaders. If you believe that you’re a future leader, then that’s the type of person to emulate. Leaders don’t merely “talk the talk”, they “walk the walk.” Your actions and passionate attitude clearly show people what to expect and how to achieve the objectives. Leaders are focused on transforming the team and individual visions into reality.
5. Put People First
A wise leader knows that anybody can learn the physical skills necessary for their work. But people matter most and an innate understanding of what makes people tick is vital to the cohesiveness and growth of any team. Demonstrate that you genuinely care about your people openly and honestly. Develop an attitude of gratitude for workplace accomplishments and you raise people’s self-esteem. A simple thank you can make the world of difference in an office environment and every time you boost their self-esteem, yours gets a lift as well. Never underestimate the power of morale.
Transforming individuals into a strong, cohesive team with common goals isn’t easy but it’s vital to the overall success of any organization. Only leaders with strong self-confidence and a passionate determination will succeed in this endeavor.