"Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead." — Ross Perot
Leadership, a critical management skill, is the ability to motivate a group of people toward a common goal. To get the most out of your team, you have to adjust your leadership style to match what each different team member needs. Treat everyone fairly, but treat them as individuals. Leaders don't always lead. They know when to step back and let others lead so they can develop this needed skill. Having a great idea and assembling a team to bring that concept to life is the first step in creating a successful leader.
While finding a new and unique idea is rare enough; the ability to successfully execute this idea is what makes an effective leader. When stress levels are high, and the visions of instant success don’t happen like you thought, it’s easy to let those emotions get to you, and thereby your team. Take a breath, calm yourself down, and remind yourself of the leader you are and would like to become.
Some decisions will not always be so clear-cut. You may be forced at times to deviate from your set course and make an on the fly decision. This is where your creativity will prove to be vital. It is during these critical situations that your team will look to you for guidance and you may be forced to make a quick decision.
As a leader, it’s important to learn to think outside the box and to choose which of two bad choices the best option is. Don’t immediately choose the first or easiest possibility; sometimes it’s best to give these issues some thought, and even turn to your team for guidance. By utilizing all possible options before making a rash decision, you can typically reach the end conclusion you were aiming for.
When leading a team through uncharted waters, there is no roadmap on what to do. Everything is uncertain, and the higher the risk, the higher the pressure. That is where your natural intuition has to kick in. Guiding your team through the process of your day-to-day tasks can be honed down to a science. But when something unexpected occurs, or you are thrown into a new scenario, your team will look to you for guidance. Drawing on past experience is a good reflex, as is reaching out to your mentors for support. Eventually though, the tough decisions will be up to you to decide and you will need to depend on your gut instinct for answers. Learning to trust yourself is as important as your team learning to trust you.
How to Be a Good Team Leader
Step 1: Listen to others.
Even though you are the team leader and you make the decisions, you should always ask people what their opinion is. Try to incorporate them whenever it's feasible. You aren't a dictator.
Step 2: Take in others' suggestions.
When someone gives you an idea, work on it. Think of how you can improve on it. A good leader is one that listens and not just talks. Show the team you are flexible to consider their thoughts.
Step 3: Include everyone.
If some people are a little left behind, help them. Always try to include them. Find a task for everyone no matter what their skill or level.
Step 4: Encourage your team.
Sometimes people are scared to try something and this is where the leader comes in. You have to encourage your team mates and show them that the task is possible, even if difficult, and try to make it fun for them. Show them the positive results of their work.
Step 5: Know what you are talking about.
If your teammates are as confused as you are, how will they know what to do? As the leader, you must do the research first, or have the most information.
Step 6: Enjoy being a leader.
Even though leaders have to take things seriously, there is no reason you can't have fun. Just don't get too carried away. Balance the serious business at hand with regard for the morale and spirits of the team.
Step 7: Pay attention to morale.
A demoralized team won't function. You must set the positive spirit, make the goals clear; show how the job is feasible and possible. No one will work for an impossible goal.
Lead by example. If you try your absolute hardest in every practice and every game, other team members will, too.
If someone makes a mistake, do not get angry. Your team mates are humans and everyone makes mistakes. Just try to help them and be kind. Your job is to try to prevent errors, demonstrate the proper course of action, and make up for errors when they occur.
Don't try to act too dominant. If you start acting bossy and telling people what to do, they are going to be upset. Try telling them in a friendly way but also in a way that shows you are in charge.
A good leader always helps others & never leaves anyone behind.
If possible, choose members of your team who can work well together. If this isn't possible, your job is to mentor the weakest member, help him become better in the team. Use peer help– assign your stronger member as a partner with a weak person and let him demonstrate how to do the job.
Dr. Ravindra Aher
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