Good Leadership is Good Teamwork
Managing people requires a lot of hard work. Leadership doesn’t involve only leading individuals, it involves developing good teamwork. For a team to be successful, having skilled people is the least of your worries. To be a good leader, what you really need is not to focus on individual talents but to think about the entire team as a whole. This is the real secret of teamwork and is something that Retired Lieutenant General Frank Kearney, III believes in as well.
Trust and Relationships
If you want your team to succeed, having talented individuals is a plus but that isn’t the be-all and end-all of everything. Even if you have talented people, if they don’t work together as one, nothing will be accomplished. A good leader knows how to effectively utilize the people working on the task at hand and knows how to motivate and push them. For this to happen, every member of the team must know and trust each other. Trust is the most important part of teamwork as this helps build a relationship between the members of the team. If you know the people you are working with, you can achieve a lot more and be more successful.
However, you don’t get to know people by just working with them and playing to their strengths. As a leader, it is important for you take note of each person’s strengths and weaknesses and how these can be shared with other members of the team. You are doing this not to ridicule or praise members but you must do this so that each member of the team knows each other’s abilities so that they can compensate, adjust, and compromise with one another. General Kearney, III notes that “if you know the people you work with… you can accomplish a lot.” This is how an effective team becomes successful—by building on each other’s strengths and compensating for each other’s weaknesses.
The Essence of Teamwork
This isn’t limited to the people that follow you. As the leader of the team, you are also a member and must also do the same. In fact, since you are the leader, you must be the first one to do this and must be the most open about it. You must set the lead that the members will follow. Also, as General Kearney, III puts it, “people want to see the human qualities that they want to see in themselves.” By showing your weaknesses to your members you aren’t showing your vulnerable side, you are showing that you trust them enough to show it to them. Since they are seeing your faults, they will feel that you are human just like them and will be more open to you as well.
Being a good leader is fostering good teamwork. Even the most experienced of teams have had rough patches and it is up to a good leader to lead that team to a common goal and vision. By being more open with one another, individual talents will bloom and productivity will increase exponentially. The old saying that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is especially true when a team has a good leader multiplying everyone’s efforts.
As a self-professed “manager from hell,” Steve Caldwell learned through the hard knocks of making mistakes while building a career. Today he serves as a leadership coach, mentor and role model guiding high achieving managers to become the strong leaders their companies, employees and the world needs. He is also author of the book Manager Mojo – Be the Leader that Others Want to Follow (available on Amazon).
“In all arenas, we suffer from a lack of leadership talent,” Steve observes. “Every day employees are promoted into management with no training or support to guide their development into leadership positions. You don’t have to be born to lead. You can learn to lead.” He can be reached by email at Steve@ManagerMojo.com or by phone at (415) 670*9543.