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June 25, 2007

Leadership – Ten Ways To Be Better At Leading Teams

Leadership is a fascinating art. A balance between getting things done and having enough about you to maximize both the motivation and engagement of all of your people for now and the future.

In any business there is a need to lead teams, unless there is just the one of you. So, being savvy about the clear points that youi need to have in your own skillset are vital.

Here are ten of the best ways to be better at leading teams:-

1. Lead!

With your team, take the initiative, show the passion and get things moving. Take it as your personal focus that will grow this business and show it off!

2. Set an Example

Whatever the team comes up with, be open to. You know you can’t do it all, yet if you veto everything, them they will get cheesed off. Learn communication skills which enquire rather than reject.

3. Behave Yourself

As well as ideas, where changes have to be made, be a part of it. It’s no good saying it’s OK for everyone else except you – you must be in the mix. Model changes in for all to see – and it will rub off.

4. Plan Ahead

Get your Succession Planning right for the future by watching for potential, nurturing new talent. When you are Leading Teams you have the space for this work, if you are realistic enough with what you let go.

5. Accept Feedback

By being open to feedback, others will be too. You will find this hugely empowering for your team members. Let them be creative about you and your learning. Accept you aren’t perfect (by the way – this in itself builds great relationships)

6. Fight for Your Team

You need to be brave for them – they look to you to fly their flag. Can you do that? Can you get really persuasive with your bosses and other stakeholders, to get what your people need to do an excellent job?

7. Let People Go Sometimes

In two circumstances, you need to let people go. When they aren’t performing and when they are ready for the next step. Be the person who delivers this – it might be their first experience of it – and a good thing at that.

8. Have a Sense of Humor

In context, have fun, share jokes and enjoy a happy team! Leading your team means that you are allowed get a bit silly sometimes – yep, you’ve got to be controlled – but when was the last time you all had fun? What memories will you hold?

9. Say No

Be prepared to say no sometimes! It’s OK to do this. Your team will understand as long as it is consistent and fits the overall vision. Even when it doesn’t, they want consistency – so be ready.

10. Be Humble and Proud

Whilst you don’t need to get to emotional about it – subtly admit that you are impressed by your people; that they do you proud. Be like this to them and just as importantly, to others. It will get back to them and this will be an enormous boost for them and for overall team spirit.

Leading great teams need not be complicated and it can be quite fun. It is an interesting responsibility, yet one which so many have and yet just miss the boat. Trying out these little ideas might just be perfect to set you up to win!

Author:  Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, Coaching-Businesses-To-Success.com

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