Successful teams are highly motivated and consistently deliver better results than any one individual working alone could ever hope to. If as the leader of the team you are to get optimal performance, you need to be leveraging the skills, qualities and expertise of each and every team member.
So how do you do this?
Know your team
Okay, I guess that if you asked a team leader whether they really know their team, chances are that they would say they do. While this might be true for a minority, in my experience, most leaders don’t really understand the range of skills and expertise available to them.
As the leader, make time to find out what range of skills, expertise and attributes that each team member has and then start utilising these.
Be a role model
If you want to bring out the best in your teams, why not consider being a role model for the team. Often people confuse the idea of being a role model with being a bit of a show off.
By being a role model, you will demonstrate the skills and the behaviours that others can follow. This benefits the results and also the individual as they acquire new skills.
Let go of your ego
You might well be one of the greatest leaders around. However, the job in the team is to get results and bring out the best in everyone. When you are more interested in how you look and how you are seen by others, your personal ego ends up being a barrier to team results.
Remember it is the results that matter rather than looking good personally.
Deal with the overly dominant people
In teams there will be some people who are natural extroverts and others who are more introverts. The challenge as the leader is to make sure that those who are most vocal and outgoing don’t dominate the proceedings rather than encouraging the contributions of others.
Make a commitment to training the extroverts to involve others and help the less vocal to get their contributions heard.
See beyond the labels
Right or wrongly, people tend to be pigeon holed based on their job title or function that they work in. You know the scenario, accountants are only interested in numbers, only marketing are creative, human resources are too soft and not commercial to name a few.
As the leader never confuse roles with people. Just because someone chooses to work in a particular function does not mean that they only have skills in that area.
Bottom Line – Well run teams can deliver great results. So what do you need to start focusing on to leverage the brilliance of teams?