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Friday, November 05, 2010

Great Leaders = Great Teams: Ten Ways to Expand Your Leadership

"When the going is toughest, leaders must behave like emotional and intellectual anchors. The critical issues are about faith, passion, and most importantly, authenticity. People must know you are not pretending. They can see a sham."  C.K. Prahalad, Professor, University of Michigan

Leading Teams

Great teams have great leaders. Leading a team starts with a clear idea of where you are going, what needs to be done, and how it will be accomplished. In addition, team leaders must promote a collective team identity, admit their mistakes, and remain positive and focused in the face of adversity. In the end, leading a team is about...

Clarifying the vision - know where you are going, what it will take to get there, when it is best to assert yourself, how to accomplish the task, and why your leadership is important. Also, remember to keep your team informed as you go.

Talking team - it's not about any single individual but it is about "us," "we," and "our" team. Think collective identity.

Practising humility - be quick to admit mistakes and say "I'm sorry."

Leading with optimism - don't forget to remind, refocus, and rebuild when needed. Attitude is everything! Attitude sets the tone for the team.

Bringing it all together: Ten (10) ways to expand your leadership thinking

Determine your legacy

Ask yourself, "What do I want to leave behind?" Then, begin with the end in mind. You will leave a legacy! Be sure your legacy is what you want it to be.

Have a plan

Know where you are going, who is traveling with you, how you will get there, (what you need for the trip, how you will respond to delays, and how you can best help everyone arrive safely. Be prepared for what is to come.

Get connected (not to technology, but to people)

Invest in others. Get to know them, build them up, and serve them (even when you don't want to). Remember, people first and problems second.

Develop a "strength focus"

"Think Big" but also think smart. Always look to put your "team" in a position to succeed. Play to each person's strengths and the team's strengths.

Clarify roles and norms

Expect a lot from key players. You will get more when you expect more! The best teams require both quantity and quality from its members.

Create the right attitude

Influence is inevitable. Be sure to make yours positive! Remember, your attitude is "contagious." Pass on your optimism and hope every day.

Be teachable

Talent gets noticed but humility attracts followers. Know what you don't know.

Hold (and be willing to hold) accountable

Confront when needed. Every team needs an enforcer! It is important to remember that actions (or lack of actions) have consequences. Be sure everyone is doing what they said they would.

Do something different

Be creative. Find new ways of doing old things. Collaborate and cooperate. Talk with new people, develop new ideas and strategies, and ask for new input. Try something new.

Take a break and have some fun!

Laugh, smile, and "lighten up." A good sense of humour can go a long way in leading yourself, others, and teams. Have fun, enjoy the journey, and keep leading.