How To Encourage Leadership In Your Team

Lucid Leadership by Rowan B. Colver

Many Hands Make Light Work

When everyone is on the same page and has the same ideas about what success looks like for the team, the leader has achieved great synchrony and effectiveness. The whole can be led by a hands-off approach that reduces the need to micromanage and intervene. The job at hand is half of the yin-yang, it’s the bit that pays the bills and keeps everyone else happy. There comes a point in leadership when getting the job done properly is not enough. Social and academic mobility are necessary elements of work. We work to improve our own lives as well as those around us. Our pay is only part of the reward. The social element is also important. The best way to reward our team is to give them the tools they need to get the best out of the given situation. We want them to lead themselves into their own better future. By showing the willingness and desire to provide teams with the skills they need to get more from their lives, we show them that they are valued beyond their ability to turn a sale. Empowering others is true leadership. How can we achieve this, what do we need to provide?

Give Them The Best

They say a bad workman blames his tools, but we all know that a cheap tool does a cheap job. We can’t blame the tools, so what do we blame? It’s our willingness to work with cheap tools that really matters. If we can’t do a proper job then we shouldn’t try, right? It only makes things worse. So we have to make sure our team have the best of everything. This is expensive and realism has to be taken into account, we give them the best we can afford. If the two tools you need are expensive and you can only afford one or both if they’re cheap versions, just get the one and wait for the opportunity to get the next. Providing the best resources, tools, and networks gives our team the ability to get the best job done. Fewer complaints, less doing it over again, fewer replacements, less worry, more custom and more success.

Listen To What They Have To Say

Leaders and managers who always seem to know best and don’t take time to listen to their team will end up losing the respect of their team. It’s just a position for practical reasons, you’re not really superior. If you can listen to people and take on board what they’re saying, even if you disagree or if it makes you cross, then offer a reasoned and professional response, you’ll be building vital bridges. It’s important to listen because firstly you cannot possibly know everything, and secondly, the perspectives of other people matter as much as yours. Sometimes you might find that the information you receive is actually vital or beneficial. Listening also means acting on what you hear so you will need to think as well, often what people say the solution should be is not doable or has so far unforeseen issues.

Variety Of Activity

We are not robots and we don’t want to be asked to follow simple instructions all day. Some jobs are difficult and some are easy, some are dull and others are exciting. We all have our tastes as well. Try to not lumber a team with boring and dry jobs day after day. People can surprise you with what they can do, so ask them to try something new once in a while. Mix up the activities with variety, paying attention to the essential humdrum jobs but sharing out the fresh and different jobs too. If we can show our team that we want them to have their fair share of cool jobs or at least appreciate their desire to not press a metaphorical button all day, they can spread their wings, discover new talents, and improve their daily lives.

Be Available And Willing To Teach

Leaders are natural explainophiles, they love nothing more than shedding light in dark places and helping people achieve their targets. Rather than telling and instructing, try to tutor and guide your team through their own jungles. Sometimes you might not know the way either and the journey can be made together. You have the world at your fingertips and resources all around you. Show your team how to see them and how to make use of them. Methods, techniques, reasons, and ways are all learned. No one knows how to do complex tasks until they learn and we all learn differently and at different speeds. You will need to be patient at times and at other times you may need to move faster than you are used to.

No Need To Be There All The Time

There is too much of a good thing with mentorship, and it can become tedious and tiresome for those involved. If you continually educate and inform, it can give the impression that you are unhappy with them at the time. It can deliver a sense of inadequacy and failure. That’s not what you’re trying to do, you care about social mobility not damaged pride. So lay off from the critique, don’t tell people what they already know, and don’t assume you know best before you even start. Sometimes the best thing to do is provide a list of jobs and walk away. You might be surprised at how quickly they’re completed, and you are only an email or phone call away at the most if they need some help.

Reward Independent Thought And Practical Solutions

Let’s imagine the team encountering a problem and solving it between them without asking you. They used the available resources and they didn’t do anything they were not supposed to. It’s just that you have not experienced this example before. You’ve not been shown up, made to be redundant, or overlooked. You’ve shown yourself to be a great leader. The team initiative is part of the reason you have a team. They’re not your little servants, they’re a functioning body of intelligent and independently thinking people. When they behave that way, they’ve reached a level of potential you can be proud of.

Recommended reading:

Business Habits: Leadership Secrets That Lead to Better Results

Leadership: Take Charge of Your Team: Coach, Motivate and Inspire

Ready to Be a Thought Leader?: How to Increase Your Influence, Impact, and Success

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Rowan Blair Colver

Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome. ko-fi.com/rowanblaircolver