The best team leaders are those that are examples of what they want their team to be. An effective leader does not lead from the back. A team leader that sends the team out to face the challenges while remaining in an ivory tower will never gain the respect of the team. By definition, a leader is someone who takes the lead and is ready to take the heat if something goes wrong. A real leader does not blame the team members even if in fact they failed. The real leader takes the blame and addresses how to correct the problem.
Be an Inspirational Role Model
Leadership requires self-confidence and is neither for the timid nor the arrogant. People who lack self-confidence often feel intimidated by a real leader. Do not let a lack of self-confidence hold you back. If you have honesty, integrity and deal with everyone fairly, others will recognize it. A leader should be open to criticism but should consider the source as well. You should not be afraid of what other may say; neither should you ignore legitimate complaints. If you insist on respect solely based on your position, you will easily lose the respect and cooperation of your team.
Influencing the Perspectives of Your Team Members
It is often said that perception is reality. As a leader, it is important that you are always presenting an honest, caring, dedicated attitude to inspire others. If you aim to inspire loyalty in your team members, it is essential that you have a track record of honesty and fairness. Address the issue immediately if any of your team members feel they have been wronged, whatever the reason may be. A problem that is ignored is a problem that grows.
Often the most-powerful influence a leader can have is in not trying to influence someone. If your team feels that you are open to their suggestions and believe that they have been heard, they will work harder even if they disagree with the methods or goals. You will find that simply listening to others make them feel empowered even if they don’t accept your ideas. If the members of your team feel that there is no point in talking to you, then they simply won’t. This could lead to the team members becoming disengaged from your vision and only following your directions begrudgingly.
If your team members see that you are willing to go the extra mile, they are more likely to go the extra mile as well. A team leader that hides in the office will be perceived as uninterested and uninformed, and therefore unworthy to lead. Many successful leaders of large organizations make it a point to seen by their team members every day. When a team member is to be commended for something, it should be done in front of the rest of the team. This will send a powerful message to all the team members.