A leader is created and validated with their following. Without followers, the title slips back to Org Chart language such us CEO, manager, dept head, etc. High performing teams are more difficult to form and find it impossible to reach their full potential without a strong leadership.
It takes courage to lead. First and foremost, you must have an unwavering faith in your own ability. When you are certain about the desired destination you can then begin the process of constructing the journey. One of the most important steps is to help your team connect and allow them to take as much ownership as possible.
It’s not necessary to know every detail of how this can be achieved; however, it is vital that the leader believes in the team’s potential to succeed and provides direction when needed. This direction may be technical, however great leaders build power in a team by offering care, responsibility, and belief.
It’s my experience that your people need you the most when the road becomes a bit rocky. These times are great opportunities to reinforce the belief of the group. We learn our best lessons from our failures. Which is why teams grow stronger and build momentum by overcoming adversity together.
When you have a vision of where you want to go and can stay mindful of the present moment, it enables you to be resilient. If the leader displays resilience, then the team are more chance of doing the same. And, when leaders help a team achieve goals against the odds, they are developing new leaders in the process. The more responsibility your team members are prepared to accept the stronger they become, and the performances of the team improves – particularly under pressure. Ultimately, a high performing team needs less from the leader as they grow.
I love this quote from Richard Branson; “Tend to the people, and they will tend to the business.”
Legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson describes the stages of his 30-year tenure as going from coach to delegator to observer.
There is an art to leadership and Ferguson embodied it; learning how to build a team while caring for individuals and then understanding what level of guidance the team needs at any given time.
When they don’t need you anymore, you have done your job!