Leading a team is simultaneously one of the most rewarding and challenging things you will ever do. It is incredible to see people be successful, to watch them come into themselves and truly become who they were meant to be, but also heartbreaking when you feel like you have failed someone who was just not “getting it”. In my 16 years in the professional realm, I have had the honor of being led by some of the best leaders and had the privilege of leading some of the most incredible teams of people. When promoting someone into a leadership role, there are three things that I always stress to them as the most important when leading a team towards success. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but is a great way to start with the basics.
1 Communicate the Basics.
How can you hold people accountable for doing a job that they do not know how to do effectively? I have unfortunately seen this on a regular basis with multiple companies. A potentially great employee that was not trained correctly or fully and is being held to impossible standards due to no fault of their own. Make sure each person that you lead has a solid knowledge of how to do every aspect of their job that is controllable ( there will always be exceptions to this that pop up occasionally) and then you are able to discern who on your team are truly your “A players”, and who might need to be benched.
2 Communicate the Passion.
This is probably my favorite part of being a leader! I absolutely love getting people excited about the Why behind their job. The fun part is, that will be different for every person! One of my favorite saying is “Hustle because you need it, Hustle because you believe it” . You need it because it pays your bills, feeds your family and provides for your lifestyle. You believe it because you buy into the companies mission statement or the people you serve or have a philanthropic outlet. If you have that combo, your employee can be unstoppable!
3 Communicate the Intangibles.
There are generally a lot of people doing the same job or providing the same service that you do; how do you stand out? The main thing that I always try to communicate here is your way to stand out is not by copying someone else. Be unique. Be genuine. Be authentic. It is easy to see someone else following a specific model for success and saying “well if I do the same thing I will see the same success” but WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT PEOPLE. If you are an introvert and try doing what an extrovert would do to stand out, you will likely come off as fake and disingenuous and the same is true vice versa. Make specific goals with your team member that works to help their specific talents shine instead of forcing them into a cookie cutter expectation and they will inevitably be significantly more successful.
Again, this is not an exhaustive list. However, if you are a new leader or looking to make your way into a leadership role, this is a great place to start down the path to bringing the best out in your team!