Someone asked me the other day what I thought it takes to be a great leader. Having had what I believe to be very good leadership training combined with my experiences in a leadership role….and of course from what I have read on the subject there are a few things that a great leader will need to help form the foundation for a high performing team:
- Encourage professional workplace relationships – most people go to work with the expectation of a colleague friendly work environment. I’ve often thought that strong social connections outside the workplace are a strong indicator of job satisfaction. The social connections don’t just happen and are rare. Great leaders will help shape and guide culture to create ways to build rapport amongst the team. Great leaders will set the tone and establish just the right balance.
- Approach employees as individuals – Great leaders will see their employees as more than just that they see them as individuals. Leaders must recognize the unique desires and abilities so they can manage how to bring out the best in each member of the team. The approach to managing individuals that are part of a larger team must be fine-tuned to reach a situation and this will create a culture that is based on performance rather than an entitlement.
- Adult behavior – the one main ingredient that will drive every aspect of the work culture is that of adult behavior. A “management genius” who builds and leads in a culture that is adult minded will be one that is based on maturity and personal responsibility.
- Value the individual – every member of the team, independent from their job title and most recent performance should be showing respect and value by every member of the team. This approach will build long-lasting loyalty and commitment much further than just today’s work.
- Be the captain – as a leader this is your team, and you are responsible for the work done by the individual members of the team. A great leader will establish respect for managing the work and finding effective ways to ensure that people are listening. The right combination of power, authority and influence to delegate work and provide direction will teach people how you intend to manage them so they know what to expect. There should be NO surprises.