Tag: Leaders

The Importance of Vision for Team Leaders

The Importance of Vision for Team Leaders

Vision is essential to the success of all team leaders. The vision paints the target for the team and leads the leader. It fuels the fire of the leader’s passion and draws the leader forward. Leaders without vision cannot go anywhere.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Vision Starts Within The Leader

Vision is not something you can buy or borrow. Vision has to come from within. If you lack vision in your leadership, look within and draw on you natural gifts and desires. If you still do not sense a vision of your own, look to partner with a leader whose vision resonates with you.

Vision Draws On Your Past

Vision is not something that just magically appears out of nothing. Vision grows from the past of the leader and the history of those people that surround them. You are likely to find that all successful leaders have key events in their past that were instrumental in the creation of their vision.

Vision Meets The Needs Of Others

True vision will go beyond what one individual can accomplish. A big vision does more than just include others, it adds value to them. A vision that does not serve others is likely too small.

Vision Helps You Gather Resources

Vision acts like a magnet to attract resources. Your vision will attract, challenge and unite people. It will also rally finances and other resources that the vision requires. The greater the vision, the more winners it has the potential of attracting. The more challenging the vision, the harder the team will fight to achieve this.

The Voices of Vision

The Inner Voice. Vision should always start from within. What stirs your heart, what do you dream about? You will not be able to accomplish a vision that does not come from a deep desire within yourself. It needs to be based on who you are and what you believe.

The Unhappy Voice. Experiencing or noticing what does not work, is often the inspiration for great ideas. A discontentment with how things are currently can be excellent breeding ground for birthing a vision.

The Successful Voice. Great things are never accomplished alone. A big vision needs a big team to accomplish it. To grow as a leader, you need advice from someone ahead of you in the leadership journey. You need a mentor if you intend to lead others to greatness.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Vision

Measure Yourself. If you have previously written down a vision for yourself, measure how well you are carrying it out. Speak to key people close to you and ask them what they think is your vision. If they can articulate it, then it is likely that you are living out your vision.

Write Down Your Vision. If you have only previously thought about your vision but never wrote it down, take the time to write it down today. Writing helps to clarify your thinking. After writing it down, evaluate your vision and decide if it is worthy of your life’s best, and then pursue it with all you got.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Being Teachable for Team Leaders

 The Importance of Being Teachable for Team Leaders

Team leaders that have had some achievements face the danger of contentment. If you already possess influence and have achieved a level of respect, why should you keep growing? The truth is that your growth determines who you are, who you are determines who you attract and who you attract determines your success.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Guidelines to Help You Develop and Maintain a Teachable Attitude

Beware of Destination Disease.
Lack of being teachable is often rooted in achievement. Team leaders often make the error of thinking that if they accomplish a particular goal they no longer have to grow. If you want to be an effective leader that makes an impact on people, you cannot afford to think that way. If you stop growing you are not only forfeiting your own potential but also the potential of your team.

Overcome Your Success.
Success is often the cause of a lack of being teachable. What gets you to the top will not necessary keep you there. If you still think that what you did in the past is big, it simply means you have not done much today.

Avoid Taking Shortcuts.
Shortcuts often end up being the longest distance between two points. Anything worthwhile doing has a price attached to it. If you want to grow in a certain area, figure out the price to pay and be determined to pay it.

Let Go of Your Pride.
Team leaders that are teachable are people who are willing to admit they do not know everything. If you are to keep growing, you have to be prepared to make mistakes. You cannot be prideful and teachable at the same time. To grow, you need to give up your pride.

Never Pay Twice for The Same Mistake.
You cannot progress without making mistakes along the way. But the team leader that keeps making the same mistakes is not making any progress. While you should forget your mistakes and move on, never forget what those mistakes taught you.

How Team Leaders Can Become More Teachable

Observe Your Reaction to Your Mistakes.
Observe how you react when you make a mistake. Do you admit your mistakes, apologize when appropriate or are you defensive. Get an honest opinion from a trusted friend. If you react badly to your mistake or do not react at all, you will have to work on being more teachable.

Try Something New.
Stretch yourself mentally, emotionally or physically by trying something new. Challenges change people for the better. If you are serious about growing as a leader, you will have to make new challenges part of your daily activities.

Learn in Your Area of Strength.
Read books on leadership and your field of specialization. Continuing to learn in the area where you are already an expert, prevents you from becoming jaded.

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

 

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The Importance of Responsibility for Team Leaders

The Importance of Responsibility for Team Leaders

These days it seems people focus more on their rights than their responsibilities. Effective team leaders never embrace a victim mentality. They recognize that who and where they are in life remain their responsibility. They face whatever life throws at them, and they give it their best. Remember that failure to hit the bull’s eye is never the fault of the target. To hit the target you need to improve your aim, and you can only improve your aim by improving yourself.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Characteristics of Team Leaders Who Embrace Responsibility

They get the Job done. As a team leader, you cannot do the minimum but yet expect to reach your maximum potential. If you are an employee, one way you can maintain a get-it-done attitude is by thinking of yourself as self-employed. This approach will help you achieve more and build credibility with your team.

They are willing to go the extra mile. Responsible team leaders never protest that something is not their job. They are ready to do whatever it takes to complete the work needed by their organization. If you want to succeed as a leader, you have to be willing to put the needs of the organization above your agenda.

They are driven by excellence. Excellence is always a great motivator. Responsible leaders desire excellence and work hard to achieve it. Make high quality your goal and responsibility will follow naturally.

They produce regardless of the situation. The ultimate quality of a responsible team leader is the ability to finish. A leader who takes responsibility, finish and follows through to the final details is a leader that will be a success more often than not. They are leaders to whom you can entrust an assignment knowing it will be efficiently and conscientiously completed.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Responsibility

Keep hanging in there. An inability to deliver in difficult circumstances could be due to a persistence problem. Next time when you find yourself in a situation where it looks like you are going to fail, stop and figure out a way to succeed. Think outside the lines. Creativity can often help to bring responsibility to life.

Set higher standards. You may have difficulty achieving merely because you have lowered your standards. Make changes to set higher standards. Reset the bar of excellence for yourself.

Find better tools. If you are still not achieving the success the way you want to, you may need to better equip yourself. Improve your skills by taking classes, reading books and listening to DVD’s. Find a mentor, do whatever it takes to become better at what you do.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of a Positive Attitude for Team Leaders

The Importance of a Positive Attitude for Team Leaders

Leaders, who are achieving lasting success, are those leaders who possess a positive outlook on life. To be an effective team leader it essential that you have a positive outlook on life. A positive attitude not only determines your level of contentment it also impacts how others interact with you.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

A Positive Attitude is a Choice

As a team leader, you should never wait for someone else to motivate you. Do not let the circumstances dictate the way you think. No matter what may have transpired yesterday, your attitude today is your choice.

Your Attitude Determines Your Actions

Success is not always the result of a high IQ or exceptional talent. Your attitude is always more important than your aptitude. A positive attitude is important because your attitude will determine your actions.

Your Team is a Mirror of Your Attitude

A team leader cannot have a poor attitude and at the same time expect the team members to be positive. The positive attitude of a leader not only fuels the leader, but it also encourages the team to keep pressing on until they succeed. As a team leader, one of your goals should be to pass on your positive attitude to your team.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

If you already have a positive attitude, it is crucial that you work on maintaining it. Maintaining a positive attitude is better than trying to regain one. If you struggle to expect the best of yourself and your team, remember you can change it because you can choose your attitude.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Attitudes

Feed on a steady diet of positive and motivational material. Start feeding yourself with a regular diet of motivational books and talks. The more negative you are, the longer it will take to turn your attitude around. A steady diet of positivity will transform you into a positive thinker.

Achieve a goal a day. If team leaders feel that they are not making progress, it may cause them to fall into a rut of negativity. Team leaders can overcome this by setting achievable daily goals for themselves. A pattern of positive achievement will help develop a pattern of positive thinking.

Put up reminders of positivity. Put up reminders in your work area and home to keep your thoughts positive. You can put up awards, inspirational posters or positive letters you received. Find something that will work for you.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Passion for Team Leaders

The Importance of Passion for Team Leaders

Is passion a characteristic of your life? Passion is an essential quality that you need to be a successful leader of people. It is not possible to effectively lead in an area about which you are not passionate. As a team leader, you cannot start a fire in your team if that fire is not already burning inside of you. Passion is what makes the difference between ordinary leaders and great leaders. To be successful in something you need to love what you are doing. Passion is what makes it possible for seemingly ordinary people to accomplish great things. Nothing can take the place of passion in the life of a team leader.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Passion is The First Step to Achievement

Your desire will determine destiny. All great leaders in history were known for their passion in the areas in which they achieved much. To live a life beyond the ordinary, you need great desire.

Passion Increases Your Will Power

There is absolutely no substitute for passion. Passion is the fuel for the will. If you want something bad enough you will find the willpower to achieve it. The only way to have that kind of desire is to develop passion.

Passion Changes You

If you want to become more dedicated and productive as a team leader, you have to follow your passion and not other people’s perceptions of you. Passion increases your ability to impact others. In the end your passion will have more influence than your personality.

Passion Makes the Impossible Possible

Impossibilities vanish when something fires the soul. That is why passionate team leaders are such effective leaders. Leaders with great passion and few skills will always do better than leaders with many skills but no passion.

How Team Leaders Can Increase Their Passion

Evaluate Your Level of Passion How passionate are you about your leadership? Get an honest assessment from others about your level of passion for what you are doing. You will only truly be able to become passionate when you believe passion can be the difference maker in your life.

Rediscover Your Passion Try and remember what you were passionate about when you started working or when you were a child. What were those things you could spend hours doing? Try and recapture your old enthusiasm and evaluate your life and career in light of those old loves.

Associate with People of Passion Passion is contagious. Get infected with passion by surrounding yourself with passionate people.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Listening for Team Leaders

The Importance of Listening for Team Leaders

Do you consider yourself an effective listener? Team leaders can sometimes get so busy doing their own thing and trying to make things happen, that they stop paying attention to what is going on around them. It essential that team leaders slow down and pay greater attention to those around them. It is critical that team leaders not only listen to words, but also feelings, meanings and undercurrents.

Before leaders can have influence in their team members’ lives, they have to get to know them. The best way to get to know your team members better is by listening to them. The biggest percentage of management problems is due to faulty communication, and the majority of communication problems are due to poor listening. The two primary purposes for listening is to connect with people and to learn.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

People That Team Leaders Should be Listening To

Team Members Listening is more than mere interaction with your team members. You should take the time to get a feel for who each team member as a person. Do not just listen to the facts, change you focus and really listen.

Clients Team leaders should guard against getting so caught up in their ideas that they never hear their customers’ complaints, concerns, and suggestions. Although unhappy customers are always a concern, they can be your greatest opportunity. Effective leaders make it a priority to keep in contact with the people they are serving.

Competitors Leaders should not be so focused on building their own case that they cannot learn from what their competitors are doing. Leaders learn from their competitors by listening. Although they should not base their action on what the competition is doing, leaders can learn what they can from them to improve themselves.

Mentors No team leader is so advanced that they cannot be without a mentor. It is always beneficial to learn from leaders that have more experience than you have. If you do not have a mentor, try and find one. If you cannot find somebody to help you in person, begin the process by reading books.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Listening Skills

Change Your Schedule Do you spend time listening to your followers, customers, competitors and mentors? It is essential for the team leader to have all four groups on their calendar regularly.

Meet Each Team Member Where They Are Effective listeners always find common ground with their other team members. When you meet with one of your team members, discipline yourself to ask four or five questions about them as a person. Build connections by seeking common ground and getting to know your team members.

Listen Between the Lines Although team leaders should always pay attention to the factual content of a conversation, they must not ignore the emotional content. Often you learn more about what is really going on by reading between the lines.

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

 

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The Importance of Initiative for Team Leaders

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Do you see yourself as an initiator? Are you consistently looking for opportunities or are you waiting for the opportunities to come to you? Team leaders need always to be looking for opportunities for their teams and should be ready to take action on those opportunities.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Qualities that Team Leaders Possess Which Enable Them to Take Initiative

They know what they want: Team leaders cannot be effective if they are indecisive. To be effective, team leaders need to know what they want. This is the only way to recognize opportunities when they present themselves.

They push themselves to act: Initiators do not wait for other people to motivate them. They take responsibility to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and make a habit of doing this. Initiators do the things that ought to be done, and when they make up their mind to do a thing they act on it.

They take more risks: Proactive team leaders take risks and they know there is a price to pay for not initiating. The risk of taking action is often less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

They make more mistakes: Team leaders who initiate make things happen but they inevitably also make a lot of errors. Even though they often fail they do not let it bother them. The greater the potential of the leader, the greater the chance of failure. If team leaders want to achieve great things they have to risk failing greatly. They must be willing to put themselves on the line.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Initiative

Change your mindset: If you feel that you lack initiative, it is essential to recognize that the problem comes from within and not from others. Ask yourself why you tend to hesitate. Does risk scare you? Are you discouraged by past failures? Do you tend to miss the potential that opportunities offer? Find the source of your hesitation and address it. You will not move forward on the outside until you move forward on the outside.

Do not wait for opportunity to knock: The truth is that opportunity seldom comes knocking on your door. You have to go out and look for opportunities. Get an idea of your potential by taking stock of your assets, talents and resources. Now spend every day of the week looking for opportunities. Where do you see needs? Who is looking for your expertise?

Take the next step: It is not enough to just see the opportunity; you have to do something about it. Pick the best opportunity you see and take it as far as you can. Do not stop until you have done everything you can to make it happen.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Courage for Team Leaders

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When a team leader is willing to make courageous decisions, significant progress is made by the team. Leadership positions cannot give a person courage, but courage can give a person a leadership position. One of the things that all effective leaders have in common is the willingness to take risks.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Courage Comes From Within the Team Leader

Every test you face as a leader begins within you. Courage is not the absence of fear but doing that which you are afraid of doing. It is the ability to let go of the familiar and step into the unknown.

Courageous Team Leaders are Peace Makers not Just Peace Keepers

It takes more courage to make things right than it does just to smooth things over. A team leader’s worth is measured in times of challenge and controversy. Effective team leaders not only possess people skills in getting the team to work together, but they can also take a stand when necessary. They have the ability to know when to stand up for something and the conviction to do it.

Courageous Team Leaders Inspire Commitment from Their Team

Courage is contagious; a show of courage by one team member encourages the rest of the team. A show of courage by the team leader inspires the team and makes them want to follow the team leader. When leadership expresses courage, it compels the team to do the right thing.

Your Leadership Expands in Proportion to Your Courage

While fear limits leaders, courage opens doors and provides better futures. Whether you take risks or not, you are going to experience some amount of fear. Since you are going to have to overcome your fear and doubts, you might as well make it count.

How You Can Improve Your Courage

  1. Stretch yourself. Do something that stretches you, simply for the sake of growing in courage. What you choose to do is not important, as long as it causes you to face a genuine fear.
  1. Stop avoiding confrontation. Is there someone with whom you know you are avoiding confrontation? Talk with that person this week in a kind and gentle manner.
  1. Take that big step. Is there something big you know you should do, but you have not had the courage to do? Face up to it this week, talk to your spouse or trusted friend about If you feel it’s the right thing to do, then do it.

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Charisma for Team Leaders

 

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Charisma is a characteristic that draws people to you. Although it is often believed that you are either born with charisma or not, it is in fact a characteristic that can be developed. As a team leader, how charismatic would you rate yourself? Are people naturally attracted to you? Most common roadblocks to charisma are pride, insecurity, moodiness, perfectionism, and cynicism.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Traits of Charismatic Team Leaders

  1. Charismatic team leaders love life. People typically enjoy and more readily follow leaders who enjoy life. Leaders with charisma are passionate about life; they are celebrators and not complainers. If you want to be someone that attracts people, become like those people that you enjoy being around.
  2. Charismatic team leaders expect the best of their team. The charismatic team leader has made it a habit of always expecting the best of their team. If you are always expecting the best of people and help them to think more highly of themselves, you will naturally attract people. Charismatic leaders appreciate others and encourage others.
  3. Charismatic team leaders give their team hope. Charismatic team leaders are always looking to instill hope because they know hope is the greatest of all possessions. People will be attracted to you if you are a leader that bestows hope on others.
  4. Charismatic team leaders share of themselves. People are naturally attracted to leaders that share of themselves and their life journeys. Charismatic leaders are willing to share their resources, wisdom and special Leaders with charisma think about others more than they think of themselves.

How to Become a More Charismatic Team Leader

  1. Work at focusing more on others. Observe how you interact with others, how much of your talking is concentrated on yourself. If you find that most of the conversation is about you, then it is time to change the balance and focus more on others.
  2. Make sure you are creating positive first impressions. When next you meet someone for the first time, make a determined effort to make a good first impression. Make sure you memorize the person’s name, focus on the person’s interest and that you are positive.
  3. Practice sharing of yourself and your resources. Make it one of your long term goals to share your resources with others. Think how you can add value to the lives of those people you interact with on a daily basis. Provide them with resources to help them grow both personally and professionally.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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The Importance of Showing Trust in Your Team of Leaders

The Importance of Showing Trust in Your Team of Leaders

Your team of leaders is made up out of individuals with unique traits and qualities. You should always remember that they made it onto your team for a reason. Trust that you have taught them well and rely on them to do a good job.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Do Not Micromanage

There is sometimes a thin line between assuring your team leaders do an excellent job and micromanaging them. You have to resist the temptation to check constantly in on them and offer your input randomly. Resist the temptation by trusting your leaders and their abilities. Allow your team leaders to seek accountability for their actions and own their responsibilities. Team leaders, usually, perform better when they feel in charge and do not feel as though you are breathing down their neck.

You can take the following steps to ensure that you do not have to micromanage your leaders:

  • Make your team leaders accountable
  • Hire the right people from the start
  • Clearly outline your expectations of your leaders

Communication

It is essential to promote open and honest communication among your team leaders. Allow everyone to give their input, be responsive to your leaders and support feedback from others. Open and honest communication builds respect among the team and helps build trust.

Tips for enhancing open and honest communication:

  • Have an open door policy
  • Ask questions frequently
  • Give everyone a chance to speak

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Encourage Initiative

Always look for an opportunity to reward and encourage initiative among your team leaders. Reward your team leaders when they take on more initiative. Rewards can include recognition, gifts or promotions.  A team leader that feels rewarded for their hard work are more likely to take pride in their work and continue doing a good job. Remember to recognize the initiative itself, and not just the outcome.

Trust the Leaders, but Verify the Work

You can’t always assume the job is done right. There are times when work needs to be verified or reviewed. This should not be done through micromanaging, but involves periodic steps of checking in or verifying the leader’s work.  Verifying can be done by asking the team leader to send you an email when they are finished with a certain task. You can also set yourself reminders to speak with the team leader in person to check on the progress. By taking a few minutes to look over any project periodically, you can save everyone a lot of time and man hours in the event that something needs to be corrected.

Image Source: Anita Nowack

 

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