What Teams Really Need from Their Leaders

If you work on a team, your leader can help you, hinder you or ignore you by the way they lead. 

If you are the leader, you can supercharge your team or you can merely keep score.

Your team will achieve superior results when you give them what they really need:

Need #1:  An Environment Where They Can Thrive

  1. Give them the workspace they need. Maybe it's Class A space in an office tower. Maybe it's old brick and exposed timbers. Maybe it's shared incubator space. Whatever it is, make sure it's a place your team can work effectively, individually and as a team. 
  2. Select qualified teammates who are likely to watch each other's backs. A team that works well together will achieve more than a room full of prima donnas.
  3. Help each teammate deliver their best work by being a true Servant Leader. More on that later.

Need #2:  Recognition

  1. Give each teammate genuine praise for their accomplishments.
  2. Give each teammate genuine, problem-solving coaching for their "problem" work. Never belittle them. Never criticize them publicly. Help them be the best they can be, every day.
  3. You are the Protector of your team. You will never throw them under the bus, just to look good. If something goes wrong, you will run interference for them. You will take the heat, so they can keep working. That's another way you recognize their value. You won't have to say anything. They'll get it, and they'll respect you for it. 

Need #3: Servant Leadership

Three types of people lead teams and organizations:

  1. The Manager was given their authority by the organization. A typical manager is an administrator, a scorekeeper. They don't lead much, but they have a record of your productivity and your mistakes.
  2. The Leader offers a grand vision to the team. The Leader points out that no single person can achieve the vision; the team members must work together to achieve it. The Leader holds up their sword and yells, "Charge" and the team follows.
  3. The Servant Leader goes one step beyond the Leader. The Servant Leader believes that success comes from serving those who are being led. One of the Servant Leader's skills is coaching, helping each team member achieve more than even they thought was possible.

The teams that achieve the most are led by Servant Leaders. 

Are you a Servant Leader? Do you care about helping each of your team members achieve their absolute best? Focus on their success, and watch your results soar!