Leading Your Team

Leadership is the ability to get things done.  But in accomplishing the work, the most effective leader realizes that people must be happy and get along with each other in order to do a job well.

  • Perhaps the greatest challenge facing a leader is discovering the already existing energies, talents and abilities that are within an individual and then finding a way to channel them into worthwhile endeavors.
  • Good leaders will not waste time focusing on the failures and weaknesses of their people.
    • Focusing on an individual’s weaknesses causes him or her to lose confidence.
  • Instead they will look for the strengths that others perhaps have overlooked.
  • A good leader looks for ways to encourage the gifts within their group or team or individuals they are influencing.
  • Remember – a leader looks for ways to bring out the best in each individual
  • If you continually focus on the negatives, you can’t motivate and encourage others to be their best.
    • What works for one will not work for the other.
    • And individuals will not do things the same way or as quickly as others, or with as much thought and deliberative thinking
  • Build into your team – room for differences
  • Recognize, acknowledge and appreciate the differences.

As a leader:

  • Build commitment and confidence in your team.
  • Appeal to each member to contribute his or her talents and abilities to help the team reach its goals and to be actively involved.
    • Some will have skills in technical areas, others in problem solving, others in ideas and creativity, and others will be more focused and keep the team on track toward its goals…
    • Create opportunities for involvement when and where necessary.
  • One of the most critical aspects in team building is for each person in the group to know, understand and respect the strengths of each person on the team.
  • Trust, relationships, and communication, show team members how to use their talents.
    • Trust is “the most cherished and valuable commodity in a work environment.” Best Buy’s CEO, Brad Anderson, in Strengths-Based Leadership, p. 84.
  • It is important that everyone is affirmed for the role they are playing as they strive to reach the goals and fulfill the vision.

“Without an awareness of your strengths, it’s almost impossible for you to lead effectively. We all lead in very different ways based on our talents and our limitations.”

                       *Strengths-Based Leadership, p. 10

“A leader needs to know his strengths as a carpenter knows his tools, or as a physician knows the instruments at her disposal. What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths – and can call on the right strength at the right time. This explains why there is no definitive list of characteristics that describes all leaders.”

                                                 *Don Clifton, Creator of StrengthsFinder, Strengths-Based Leadership, p. 13