If you want to succeed as a leader, you can only do it by setting up your team members to succeed .If your team consists of skilled people, you need to develop a special brand of leadership — one that continually challenges them and allows them to solve problems independently.
“Leader, manager, foreman, boss” are titles that describe people who are responsible for getting a job done by directing others. The key point to remember is that, for some businesses, more than one employee must be involved in the effort for the project to be completed correctly. Therefore, the leader must be able to successfully guide each participating individual through his or her part in the process
This article shares 20 guidelines to help you guide your team to peak performance.
1. Identify the various skills
The first and most important step to take in leading your team is to know the skills and strong areas of every member. Knowing this would help you engage them in their area of expertise.
2. Don’t proffer all the solution
You being the leader doesn’t mean that you have a monopoly on all of the good ideas. If your team members are hesitant to make decisions without asking your opinion first, you probably need to change some of your tactics. When they present you with information and ask what to do about a situation, push the ball back into their court and ask them, “what do you think?”
3. Avoid throwing people under the bus
In any organization, there are going to be times when you fail. When things don’t pan out as you hoped; do an examination to figure out what went wrong and to learn from it. If errors were made by individuals, deal with them privately, if necessary. Let them know your expectations for how this should be handled in the future. Don’t publicly blame individuals — either directly or indirectly — in meetings or team e-mails.
4. Trust your members and let them know it
One of the best things you can do is to let your employees know that you trust them and that you have faith in their ability to do the job, solve the problem, and meet the deadline. If you don’t trust them, that’s a deeper problem altogether. In that case, you’ve identified an employee that you need to either manage up or manage out.
5. Always motivate and inspire your team
Motivation and inspiration are essential if you want to work effectively and achieve results. Take advantage of motivators like; recognition and rewards, salary, personal growth, responsibility and what have you.
<b>6. Get the right mix of personalities
Set out to hire people of different personalities to constitute your team. If your team is well balanced with different personalities, you will have leverage in leading them easily.
Tie compensation in every conceivable way, to the income people create. Profit sharing is one way you can do it, but that tends to reward everybody equally, regardless of how much effort they put into making the company profitable. A better way is to structure all or a part of everyone’s pay, from the janitor to the salesman, around a mutually beneficial incentive plan. That way, the better job they do, the more money they’ll make.
Promote people on the basis of abilities, not just because they’ve performed well or have been around a long time. Make sure that anyone you promote has the skills and knowledge they need to do well in the new position.
9. Be a watchdog
Constantly play the role of coach and mentor. Encourage people to keep growing and taking on new challenges. Guide their growth in ways that benefit your organization. Deal with mistakes and problems quickly, tactfully, and forthrightly.
10. Simplify your policy
Keep your personnel policies simple, clear, and fair – then firmly enforce them. It doesn’t help to have policies that no one understands, and it’s even worse to let people constantly get away with violating them.
11. Practice good human relations
Make people feel valued and important by treating them with dignity and respect. The way you treat people shows the allegiance you will get from them.
<b>12. Constant recognition
Give constant public recognition for outstanding performance. The fact is that we all like to look good in the presence of our peers. So, if you can document that someone has done a job very well, give him or her a public pat on the back. If it’s really good, throw in a tangible benefit. It will make everybody feel like giving more of themselves to the team.
13. Ask for inputs and ideas
Constantly ask for input and ideas. People are usually much more enthusiastic about supporting decisions and plans they help to make. So it helps a great deal to get ideas and input from any staff person whose job will be affected by any upcoming decision. When your members quit talking about the company, and start talking about our company, you know you’ve got a team.
14. The act of delegation
It is most important to select the most appropriate person to fit into a task. When you mis-delegate, the job suffers. However when the job is delegated aright, you can be sure of results.
15. Identify and resolve conflicts on time
It is highly imperative for you never to allow conflict thrive in your team. You must be proactive in identifying and nipping conflicts in the bud before it eats deep. Remember unresolved conflict can be very destructive.
16. Remain empowering as well as flexible too
Sometimes while getting a task accomplished, you need to become a bit stern and strict and empower team members, allowing them to make decisions, support training and make information available. Meanwhile, you also need to be flexible as to share responsibility for team development and leadership.
17. Have an aptitude for people
As for handling tasks with your team, you should be an exceptional leader and be highly interested in individuals. You should also be ready to develop relationships with people at all levels and in every situation. The more you know you team, the more results you get.
18. Great listening skills
A leader should have great listening skills as you should be able to understand what your team is expecting from you. Attentive listening skills like good eye contact, asking open –ended questions and paraphrasing suggestions makes you a good team leader.
19. Be kind enough as well as tough at the same time
Motivate your team through both kindness and through constructive feedback. You will need to challenge your team to improve their performance, but you also need to strive for good relationships with your team. Your team should be able to trust you and admire you as a person, not simply fear your discipline.
20. Be self sufficient to raise yourself
You should communicate regularly with your team and build relationships through feedback. Great team leaders seek out and respond to the opinions and advice of their team members.
Finally, it takes a lot of patience and effort to build a solid team of people who will share and help you fulfil your vision, but the results will be well worth all you put into it.