The Mindset of Leaders Who Develop Successful Teams

Successful team working on project

If you want to build a successful team, you have to craft a team in which each person works from their strengths. Team building requires leaders to possess a strong understanding of people and their strengths, as well as what motivates them and gets them excited to work with others. Let’s take a look at the mindset of leaders who develop successful teams.

Leaders’ Mindset

It is vital that leaders set a tone and model the behavior they want their team to emulate. There needs to be a clear set of values, behaviors, and cultural guardrails so that everyone not only knows how to work well together, but so that everyone also respects one another.

When leaders know what they want from the workers they’ve taken the time to vet and hire, they need to also ensure the infrastructure is in place to foster the teamwork they expect. As a leader, simply stating you expect everyone to work together does not cause it to happen. Have a plan in place to build an effective team:

  • Establish team goals
  • Clarify directives
  • View each idea as valuable
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues

These steps lay the foundation to clearly inform team members so they each know and understand in what direction they are supposed to go and who is expected to do what and when. When workers feel valued, they are more productive and more invested in the success of the project and the company. And when leaders are empathetic and attuned to their employees by picking up on what might not be said, those workers feel heard and acknowledged, which is yet another component for success.

Know Your Team

Leaders will be able to develop successful teams more effectively if they actually know their team members. Knowing your team well means you have invested the time to understand their thinking process and what motivates them to go above and beyond the expected. Great leaders are experts at activating the outstanding talent that surrounds them. They are equally effective at matching workers with their unique subject matter expertise and competencies to solve complex problems and find innovative solutions. Successful leaders also learn what it takes to keep their workers motivated and trusting.


Leaders should hold everyone on their team accountable for their work and contributions – including themselves. Being able to have frank conversations about problems and misunderstandings that inevitably arise among colleagues is an important part of holding everyone accountable for their work. If there’s a conflict that needs to be resolved, consider foregoing doing so via email because people don’t always correctly infer tone. Instead, speak face-to-face – or virtually if team members are working remotely.

A practice of providing feedback, acknowledgement, and reward fosters a strong sense of teamwork in a highly productive team. That team then learns it can communicate, cooperate, and innovate in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

What’s Your Mindset?

Developing successful teams as a leader requires a special skill set. If you are looking for guidance to help grow your dream team, let’s talk about how that can be accomplished.

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