Imagine I asked you and your team the following questions:
- ‘Would you like to reduce your stress’?
- ‘What would it feel like to look forward to coming to work every day’?
- ‘How would you like to lead a team that goes the extra mile — and loves it’?
Would you respond with, ‘No, we are good, thank you! Our team has all the motivation and engagement we need. We are strong and effective and deliver our product or service with passion and accountability’?
If you could not quite answer with that level of enthusiasm, not to worry — I can help you.
We Need Buy-In
We know that there is a limit to what we can achieve on our own. In order to have a winning team, we need a ‘buy-in’ from our team. Having a strong effective team creates engagement and excitement, empowers everyone with a can-do attitude and leads to great momentum for success.
The problem is that many leaders look around and say, ‘I have no idea how to build this’.
Maybe you inherited someone else’s team. Maybe the people on your team have been in a rut, or are overworked or are even looking for other employment.
If you apply some proven leadership principles, you can propel your team to new heights of morale, motivation and productivity to be a truly winning team.
Four Steps to Leading a Winning Team
It seems like when I talk about leading a winning team, someone inevitably looks at me and says, ‘I do not know where to start!’ As Fraulein Maria said in The Sound of Music: ‘Let’s start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start’.
- Replace ‘hiring’ with ‘inspiring’.
At the very beginning of your search for a new team member, keep this in mind: You are not just filling a position. You are looking for a team member with character, courage, chemistry and competency. If you look for a team member who shares the values, vision and culture of your team, you are less likely to run into motivation or morale problems down the road.
- Replace a ‘job’ with ‘a vision’.
With great leadership, talent does not come and go, rather it ‘comes and grows’. Your team members will be much more likely to stay with you long-term, if you can give them a long-term vision for their growth.
- Replace a team that ‘works for you’ with a team that ‘works with you’.
We want our team members to be loyal, passionate and accountable to one another, and to desire and deliver the best. How can we develop that in our team members, if we do not develop that in ourselves? Look for opportunities to be loyal to your team. Let them see your passion. Desire and deliver the best to them at every opportunity. Be accountable to your own standards, and to your team.
- Replace criticism with engagement.
If everyone in your team is focused on a vision, accountable to one another, loyal to the team, committed to excellence, and prepared for growth, personal criticism will not be necessary. We will not need to engage in the tug-of-war that can happen between employer and employee. Instead, the team can engage one another in searching for solutions.
Developing the talent in your team is the best way to develop a WINNING team. Most of all, commit yourself to becoming an effective leader, and before long, you will find yourself leading an effective team.