Building a Successful Team
As a leader, your role is to ensure that every team member works together towards a shared goal, however challenging. Caring for each new team member is also crucial to ensure their success.
- Welcome New Team Members: In the past, new team members were often subjected to hazing, but this practice is no longer appropriate. Instead of ridiculing newcomers for their lack of knowledge, guide them on the correct way of doing things. Encourage them to do good work and prevent anything that might derail their progress. Showing a friendly personal interest in their development early on encourages better performance.
- Foster Connections Among Team Members: It is crucial to assemble a team in a way that allows them to get to know each other personally. Building personal acquaintances and even friendships among team members enhances their efficiency. When team members know and respect each other, they are more likely to attend to each other’s needs promptly and effectively. As a leader, create opportunities for your team to interact and develop friendly relationships. This removes pretenses and excessive humility, revealing them all as peers pursuing the same purpose, equally dedicated to its success, and judged solely on their merits of performance.
- Supervise Team Members: As a leader, your role involves supervising and providing direction. Your responsibility is to ensure that everyone contributes to the overall outcome to the best of their abilities. By understanding the individual capacities of your team members, you can confidently assign the right tasks to the right people. Observe and evaluate their performances, offering commendation, correction, and coordinating their efforts.
- Choose the Right People for Tasks: You are responsible for ensuring that every team member is suitable for the task and is aligned with the common goal. The more others perceive the team as intelligent and capable, the greater pride they will take in being part of it.
Another one of your responsibilities is cultivating a loyal team committed to you and the broader organization. But how can you encourage your team to be dedicated, committed, and enthusiastic about their work?
- Permissible Venting: Recognize that allowing team members to vent and express their frustrations in a controlled manner can benefit their well-being. However, do not indulge in venting around the team yourself. Moreover, do not tolerate any venting that borders on disloyalty, as it can undermine morale. Your responsibility is understanding your team members well enough to distinguish between harmless venting and genuine disloyalty.
- Lead by Example: Cultivating loyalty is best achieved by setting a positive example for your team. Demonstrate the power of your actions by cheerfully carrying out instructions from higher authorities. When faced with disagreeable tasks, avoid seeking cheap popularity by blaming others and instead accept full responsibility. Guide your team through the work to instill pride in their contributions, foster interest in the organization’s success, and build trust in your leadership abilities.
- Question Instructions: If you genuinely question the fairness or wisdom of certain instructions you receive, it is important to address the issue with your boss first. Advocate for your team’s welfare without compromising loyalty. This requires a delicate balance of subordination, judgment, and a genuine concern for what is best for the team and the organization. Approach such matters with respect, loyalty, and a desire to act in the best interests of all involved.
- Receive Instructions: When receiving instructions from your boss, take the time to fully understand their intended meaning before taking action. Focus on grasping the spirit and purpose behind the instructions rather than getting caught up in minor details or how they are expressed. As a leader, you must utilize your intelligence and creativity in executing these instructions. Approach your work with enthusiasm and loyalty, carrying that same energy and dedication to your team.
- Encourage Suggestions: Being a leader who demonstrates the ability to give fair consideration to suggestions from the team is the best encouragement your team could have. When you create an atmosphere of collaboration, the suggestions you desire will naturally emerge from the partnership you foster within the team and their connection to the organization. As team members engage in their work, their ideas for improvement will evolve as they contemplate ways to achieve better outcomes.
Welcome to Leadership
“Welcome to Leadership: Practical Elements and Requirements of Leadership,” by Karl Bimshas, offers a concise and helpful guide for new or aspiring leaders and managers. The book draws inspiration from a 1920 publication by Lincoln C. Andrews called “Manpower,” first designed to train inexperienced men for leadership roles after World War I. Bimshas updates and expands on Andrews’ principles and provides practical advice on how to lead well in various situations.
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