Strong teams aren’t created overnight. But no matter how long it takes, they are built through effective leadership. As an Executive Leadership Coach, I’ve had the honor of assisting leaders in their efforts to forge formidable teams. Strong leadership can turn a collection of individuals into a cohesive, productive team. But effective leaders also aren’t created overnight. Learning how to become the type of leader that team members look up to takes some work.
Effective Leadership is not about exercising absolute power or yelling commands. It involves motivating, encouraging, and directing your team toward a single objective. Effective leadership creates a climate of trust, cooperation, and innovation throughout every level of the organization. It’s a path that requires ongoing self-improvement and dedication to the expansion and development of your team members.
Effective leaders walk the talk and set a good example for their employees to follow. When your team sees you upholding the principles you advocate, they are more likely to do the same.
Communication and Trust
I talk about communication a lot and there’s good reason for it. Strong leadership depends on clear communication that involves more than just talking; it also involves understanding, active listening, and ensuring there is a safe space for candid conversations. Employees on strong teams know they can rely on their leaders to not only want their feedback, but to also address any issues. Because all successful relationships are built on trust, having this type of company culture means that team members understand that they can trust leadership to be open to their concerns and help them find resolutions.
Development and Growth
Effective leaders recognize their team members’ personal and professional development is a key component to employee retention and overall success. Team members are more likely to remain motivated and devoted if they perceive that leaders are interested in their personal and professional development and their goals. Leaders of these teams provide them with chances to learn and develop their skills, and offer constructive criticism. This also involves acknowledging accomplishments, so that workers understand their efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
A varied staff contributes a wide range of viewpoints, concepts, and experiences. Effective leaders encourage diversity and promote an inclusive culture where everyone’s opinions are valued. Inspiring open discussions and recognizing the individual talents that each unique team member brings to the table is an extremely effective and obvious way to show team members they are respected and heard.
Delegate to Empower
Micromanagement severely inhibits innovation and erodes confidence. Effective team leaders assign tasks and encourage team members to accept responsibility for their work. This not only lessens your workload as a leader, but also enables team members to advance their careers and become more competent workers. Empowering employees contributes to their feelings of loyalty and can even increase morale and levels of production.
Adversity is when leadership is put to the test. Effective leaders maintain composure, resolve, and a focus on solutions even in the face of difficulties or losses for their teams. Your team will be motivated by your unwavering confidence and support to face challenges head-on and with professionalism as they observe how you navigate difficulties and turn them into opportunities.
Marathon, Not a Sprint Developing a strong team through effective leadership is an ongoing process rather than a goal that is simply set once and then reached. Self-awareness, sensitivity, and a dedication to fostering a culture of trust and cooperation are necessary. Leaders can foster an environment where their team not only flourishes, but also emerges as a formidable force. In my experience as an Executive Leadership Coach, these concepts can transform leaders and their teams, though many leaders need help getting there. Let me know if you’d like to talk about steps you can take to build strong teams.