Success doesn’t come about overnight or all at once. Like a home, it needs a foundation, brick by brick, to form a stable structure that can support the weight of a business over time. The first building block to success, then, is building the right team. To draw another analogy, just like in sports, recruiting the top people to join your team is of paramount importance. You need a wide range of talents to make up a well-rounded team. You may be looking for attributes like: plays well with others, shares ideas openly in group settings, values transparency and aligns around a shared vision, individuals who bring you opportunities for growth, and down to earth teammates who celebrate victories together in an atmosphere of positivity. So the first step to success: build the right team.
Taking a Look at Yourself
Looking for these qualities and more when considering building your dream team is priority #1. However, before you even think about the types of people you want to work for you, the first step should be to look inward and ask yourself “am I the type of boss people want to work for?”. Do you treat people fairly? Do you give your team the tools they need to be empowered and get the job done from within or do you control every aspect of the project? Are you transparent in your expectations? Do you foster a culture that is supportive and positive, or one of competition and rivalry? Do you have your team’s best interests at heart? What do you think people say about you when you’re not around?
The foundation of exceptional leadership lies in putting the needs of others first, says the Jack Welch Management Institute. You have to fight for the resources your team needs to do its job effectively and efficiently, lobbying for the raises and bonuses that your employees deserve. We’re not saying this has to be a culture of “everybody gets a trophy.” Rather, what we mean is, those who truly deliver on stellar performance will get rewarded for their efforts. Transparency in the workplace ensures that each teammate knows where he or she stands.
Upgrade Your Team
True leaders relentless upgrade their team, utilizing every encounter as a unique opportunity to coach, evaluate and build up self-confidence, according to Inc. Just like in sports, the team with the best players wins. Their leaders must put the time and energy into what famed business exec Jack Welch calls “people development” — something that should be honed daily and integrated into all aspects of your interactions. You as the leader have to recognize and acknowledge your team’s hard work if you want to encourage peak performance and instill confidence in the very core of your team.
Live and Breathe the Vision
As the owner or manager, you know what the vision of your company is. You invented it, you grew it, you live for it. That’s not enough. You also have to make sure the people who work for you not only know that vision as well but live and breathe it every day. Not everyone will buy into this. It takes a special breed of person to truly embrace the goals you’ve set for yourself and help you realize them. Effective leaders, then, will cast the vision of the future and fuel that passion in the people who work for them. You should constantly be talking about that vision, reinforcing it with rewards in order to light a fire that will help them accomplish even the most difficult of assignments.
Follow Your Gut — Even if People Hate You for It
People in a position of power — whether that be the president, a coach or a parent — can’t be friends with everyone all of the time. They are in a position of power to make the tough calls that aren’t always popular but that serve the greater good. Leaders will bring the courage to make gut calls, regardless of what team members think. Jack Welch goes on to say in his book Winning that “tough calls spawn complaints and resistance.” Your job as a leader is to listen and explain yourself clearly but then start moving forward rather than dwelling. It’s important to build the right team up front.
Clear, sharp, definitive decision making is what you will be judged on as a leader. Because the choices you make will determine the overall success of your organization, it’s you who will ultimately have to answer for the success or failure of your company. Transparency, trust and clear vision: if you employ these things and build the right team, they will stand behind you every time.