How do you become stronger, more effective team leaders?

What qualities do extraordinary team leaders share?What qualities do extraordinary team leaders share?

What qualities take your team leadership to the next level of performance and success? I have worked with many high performing teams on a wide variety of special projects. They share several qualities that provide them with the platform to achieve their team’s goals and objectives. They were led by stronger team leaders.

Earlier this week at Developing High Performing Teams, we discussed individual qualities that help provide the foundation of a high performing team. They were courage, loyalty, teamwork, and confidence. These four core qualities ensure the individual becomes a stronger team member. Now let’s talk about what you need to do to become a stronger team leader.

High performing teams have team leaders who combine everyone’s unique strengths and capabilities into a cohesive team. These leaders work with their team members to maximize individual contribution, while also pursuing larger goals and solutions.

Building trust is critical to your role as a stronger team leader.  Trust is an interesting topic when we begin incorporating it into our high performing team development process. MR Covey has dedicated his life to helping organizations better understand trust.  In future posts, I share with you what I learned from his extraordinary life and work. I help you apply it to your high performing teams.

Your team members want a team leader who helps move obstacles out of their way. The most effective team leaders understand they must not only protect new ideas, but their people from organizational short term thinking. They focus on creating a culture that includes the longer view to help ensure a sustainable organization.

To get extraordinary results, you must be willing to create a culture where people feel safe to fail. Many times, when things go wrong, leaders fail to shield their people from the fall out. If your teams know that you stand up for them, they will move heaven and earth to help deliver the results.

If you want to build trust with your teams, you must be willing to let your people make mistakes. They need to know that you protect them from others’ anger and consequences. Protecting and understanding your teams’ efforts allows the team to take more risks and learn more quickly. Accelerated learning is shared by all high performing teams

When you work with people who deal with stressful situations on regular basis you discover a quality all of them share. When you join their community, you become part of their family. In my team model, I call this intangible team quality fellowship.

Fellowship is a critical element to team success. Be it first responders, special operations, nuclear engineers to cardiac surgeons, all embrace fellowship in the way they work together. As a team leader, you should incorporate fellowship into your efforts. You may be surprised how quickly this changes your teams.

Effective team leaders learn how to communicate in many ways.  Today, we have several generations working together in our organizations, each with its own preferred style of communication. Have you upgraded your communication skills? Better team leaders are masters of communication.

Are you able to communicate clearly what’s needed in any given situation? Effective team members’ communications skills work in alignment with a given situation. Over time, high performing teams begin to create their own communication shorthand.  Good team leaders provide new ways and tools to accomplish their communication goals.

The final quality of a better team leader is determination. When you look at history’s greatest achievements, you find a determined individual who refused to give up against all odds. This is the stuff legends are made of. The problem with this view is that most of these breakthroughs did not come from a lone wolf working on a problem who just wouldn’t give up.

The fact is many of these breakthroughs came from unrelenting teams who would not give up. Inspired by extraordinary team leaders who kept engaging, empowering, and inspiring. By ourselves, we are limited.  With others, we can accomplish the impossible.

In closing, all the skills we look for as a great team member are required to be extraordinary team leaders. Leader is follower, follower is leader. It’s a different leadership journey than many of us have been taught to lead organizations. What do you think about it?

See you next week where we talk about how you can identify the best organizations to partner with to help grow your business.

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