If you want to build a team that will last, you have to build a team in which each person works from their strengths.
Sadly, most people are not working in their areas of strength and therefore are not reaching their potential. The Gallup organization conducted research on 1.7 million people in the workplace. According to their findings, only 20 percent of employees feel that their strengths are in play every day in the work setting.
What this means to me as an executive leadership coach is a failure of leadership. The most basic test of leadership is whether it helps people excel at what they do best and make their skills an asset to the company.
It takes a special kind of leader, with unique competencies and skills, to successfully build great companies and teams. So how do successful leaders do it? Here are some pointers:
Assess yourself. Before you can build a great team, you must be aware of your own leadership style and techniques. Are as effective as you think? How accepting are people of your leadership? You must be able to evaluate yourself and be critical about where you can improve, especially in areas that will benefit your team.
Master the art of people. Make the time to get to know your team. You need to be able to answer the following questions: What are my people’s strengths and weaknesses? Are they growing? Do they have untapped potential? Is their attitude an asset or a liability? Do they love what they do, and are they doing it well?
Build on people’s strengths. You can study the strengths of your people, but it’s just as important to communicate your findings. Let them know what strengths you see in them and what value their contributions bring. Teach them how each member of the team complements the others, and help them learn to work together more effectively. The more that people understand how they fit on a team, the more invested they are in making it work.
Leverage their weaknesses. For team members to grow into their full potential, it’s important to address weaknesses as well as strengths. Empowering people to work on their weaknesses is one of the best things you can do for them. Show them that progress requires working on their whole selves, not just the things they’re good at.
Communicate through feedback. Feedback is simply the art of great communication. Ideally, it’s not a separate undertaking but part of a natural dialogue. Keep it flexible, proactive and constant—don’t wait for a problem to occur.
Celebrate the wins. Make sure your team feels encouraged and appreciated for what they accomplish by celebrating their achievements. In today’s fast-paced workplace, people rarely take the time to understand why they were successful and what it meant to those it affected.
At the end of the day, to build a great lasting team requires a leader who has the ability to master the art of people—one who knows how each person thinks and how to best fit together their unique set of abilities.
Lead from within: It takes great leadership to build great teams.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStock Photos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.