Leadership Coaching Lesson for the Week – How to Be a Great Team Leader

Okay, so I got this article today about all of these academic lessons on how to be a great team leader.  They included terms like strategic agility, cultural transformation and quantity of output. It was a great article, because I got a 45-minute nap after reading 3 paragraphs.

I am so TIRED of these articles, and I bet you are too!

At the end of the day, to become a great team leader  is really simple.

To be a great team leader, you have to be able to give people what they want from their team leader.  Here is what the majority of people say they want from their team leader:

  1. A team leader who truly cares about their team members. If you don’t care, your team members won’t either.  People don’t want to know how much you know until they know how much you care.
  2. A team leader who cares less about money and more about relationships. If you are all about the money and the bottom line, people can smell it miles away (If you haven’t heard yet…the internet has made the world a very, very small place for us to dwell).  If you care about money more than relationships, you will not only alienate your team members, you will lose customers.
  3. A team leader who lives the belief that “the rules that apply to the business team members apply to me as well!”.  Simply because you are the CEO does not entitle you to privileges or to be exempt from activities you are asking your team to perform.
  4. A team leader who shows up on time.In today’s world, team members will tell you that meetings usually run late because the team leader is late.  They rush in…15 minutes late…huffing and puffing,  making all sorts of excuses about why they are late.  I am always entertained by the silence or eyes rolling around the room.  If you are late to meetings, you are sending the message that your time is more important than the people who are on your team.  Not good!
  5. A team leader who lives with a beginner’s mind. If you are the top dog, it is important to show both credibility AND to show that you are open to simple concepts.  If you are a “know it all”, you will alienate your team members both right and left.
  6. A team member who acknowledges team members. I met a CEO one time who said “I don’t like him…he needs too much praise!”  While this CEO may have had a point, here is my point…everyone needs acknowledgment…as a matter of fact, we are craving it.  So why not give it?  It only takes 15 seconds to say “You know John…you really helped out yesterday on the project for the Smith account.  Your “take charge” attitude is just what we needed to get the job done and on time, and it helped us all go home earlier to our families.” It’s one thing to say “Hey…buddy…good job!”  It’s another to acknowledge someone for what they did and how they impacted the rest of the team.

In closing, give these tips a try.  They may just be your magic wand!