Leaders pay attention, here’s what you need to do to build a great team. By Satyaki Sarkar
Leaders are often so driven by what they expect from their team, they often forget teams have their own set of expectations are well. Understanding your team’s perspective goes a long way towards garnering their appreciation and trust, and motivating them to achieve results. Managing your expectations and theirs is key to good leadership.
1. Clarity of thought and action
In order to be successful, a leader must be completely clear and sure about the roadmap, the steps to be taken, as well as the roles various team members will play in that journey. Thus, clarity of thought becomes one of the most important qualities that a team expects from its leader. There has to be a basic plan in place and the ability to foresee potential problems. This way, a leader can direct the team’s efforts and advise them on the best course of action, which leads to increased efficiency and productivity, and fosters a sense of achievement among the team.
2. Involvement in the team
A team is a living, breathing entity that works together to device solutions, battle complications, and innovate to achieve organisational goals. So each team member is involved in strategy and execution, especially the leader. A team can only be truly successful when its leader sees himself/herself as being a part of it. While driving the team’s efforts, a leader should also keep his/her ear to the ground, solicit opinions/debates so as to increase engagement and commitment. A team that works with its leader rather than for its leader will always be more successful.
3. Integrity and honesty
One of the founding pillars of a good leader is trust. The trust he has in his team, and the trust the team has in him. For this, employees look for a leader that is dedicated, true to his word, keeps commitments, supports his team, and is consistent in his attitude. They will better respect a leader who is honest, even when it lands them in trouble. When it comes to sensitive information, a good leader should inform his team of the fact that he isn’t allowed to disclose it, instead of lying to them, which would erode the trust and faith they had in him.
4. Respect and humility
Leaders often complain about the lack of respect that they face, but few realise it’s the by-product of their own lack of respect for employees. In a corporate environment, where professionalism is an essential part of the environment, mutual respect between a leader and his team is a cornerstone of good governance. If required, an employee will go above and beyond what’s required for a leader he/she respects, while consistently performing their best. It’s a relationship that has quantifiable benefits for the leader as well as the team.
5. Acknowledgement and recognition
A team is made out of individuals who seek positive reinforcement for a job well done, while also expecting brickbats for failure. Leaders need to balance out their criticism with recognitions/rewards for those who have earned it. Even a simple ‘good job’ or ‘well done’ can go miles in motivating an employee. A good leader, thus, knows that while constructive criticism and feedback is important, recognising their work, and the extra effort they have taken to get things right, is also equally important.