Leading Teams: The Importance of Encouraging Challenge

If you are leading a team your aim is to deliver results and at the same time get the best from the people you lead.  On one level just about every leader understands this.  On the other hand leaders often take actions or act in a way that both achieving results and getting the best from others is compromised.

So why does this happen?

1. We feel that as the team leader we need to be the best at everything.

2. We worry that if we show that just like everyone else that we have limitations people will respect us less.

3. We become anxious that others might start to judge our suitability to lead the team.

4. We become attached to being some sort of stereotype leader who does this and nothing else or acts in a certain way.

In stead of thinking in this way, think about all the benefits of encouraging team members to take on and overcome challenges.

1. You bring out the best in others and as a result, the talents that they have to offer are not lying dormant.

2. Giving people challenges or problems to deal with or the opportunity to innovate provides motivation and costs nothing.

3. You gain more not less respect not less as you give a crystal clear message to your team that you value them and want their views and contributions.

4. You help others to develop their skill set and competencies.  Think about it, no one ever got good at ice skating by just watching others.  They had to have a go and fall on their backside a few times.  Learning in the workplace is no different.

5. You are growing future leaders and hopefully will have a natural successor when the time comes for you to move onwards and upwards.

Bottom Line: Teams without challenge may still deliver but not at an optimal level.  So what do you need to do to start getting better at leading teams that deliver great results?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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