How to Build a Successful Team

Being put into a leadership role comes with a lot of responsibility, especially if you do not even have a team first. When building a team as a leader, it’s up to you to find the most qualified individuals to be successful. Even though there is a lot of pressure and the task may seem daunting, there are a few tips you can follow to help build your team:

Letting Others Lead

This may sound counterproductive but, this is a great way to build a strong and successful team. If you already have one or more members on your team, let employees make their own decisions and take the lead on projects. By doing this, you are encouraging them to become more self-sufficient and productive. Giving them the independence to develop their own problem-solving and analytical skills helps you as a leader take on the bigger tasks and trust them to carry out their work. 

Determine The Leader in You

Think about what type of leader you are while developing your team. Try to really look into yourself to determine whether you are empathetic, kind, strict, laid back, or anything else that affects the way you lead. Once you know the type of leader you are, you will have a better chance of understanding the type of team members that will thrive under your leadership. 

Establish Team Values

When building a team, it’s important to remember what your core values and goals are. Think about the purpose of why you are building this team and what you want to accomplish. Hire members that share the same values and who will work hard to see the team’s goals fulfilled. As your team builds, make sure they are staying true to these values and how they’re job performance effects this.

Focus on Communication

Once you have your team assembled, it’s important to do all you can to keep it functioning like a well-oiled machine. The best way of doing this is through effective communication. Make sure there questions, comments, and concerns are always heard, welcomed, and honored. When a team feels that they are heard, they work much better, On your end, don’t be afraid to voice what needs improvement or to give credit where credit is due. Effective communication can make or break a team’s strength.

Master Your EQ to Enhance Your Leadership Capabilities

EQ, or emotional intelligence, has become a popular topic among leaders and managers in recent years for good reason. While this skill was largely overlooked throughout the past several decades, it’s getting a much-needed resurgence while propelling effective leaders to new heights and creating unstoppable teams. 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage yourself and your relationships effectively and is closely linked with performance and success. Use the following tips to enhance your skills to more effectively lead your team to success. 

Be Self-Aware

Self-awareness is a crucial skill to have as a leader. You must be aware of your actions, how you come across to your team, and how you express yourself in certain situations. In addition to knowing how you will react to situations, you must be aware of what triggers your emotional responses. These aspects together can give you a clear picture of how to best control these actions to lead your team towards a healthier future instead of regressing. Be open to criticisms and use them as a basis to improve and develop your skills. 

Be Socially Aware

Social awareness involves a sensitivity to another person’s feelings and emotions as well as your own willingness to be respectful. With more knowledge about how other people may react, you can compose a professional response without batting an eye. If your company implements a new policy that may trigger a negative reaction within your team, you can prepare them in a way that is respectful, ensures their concerns are heard, and you can make the proper adjustments to maintain efficiency. 

Facilitate Collaboration

With a higher emotional intelligence, it’s possible to improve day-to-day interactions amongst those on your team. A higher EQ means you can manage larger teams more effectively by helping others work together and to motivate them to work harder in a way that inspires instead of threatens. The happier your team is the more it will show in their work. Once you prove the worth of your EQ to the team as a whole you can teach others to do the same to create a positive and productive workforce that truly values its employees. 

Leadership Strategies to Grow a Small Business

A leader’s work is never done, especially in a small. There are always new and undiscovered ways to improve your team and your business. As a leader, it’s important to always be open to new strategies that can boost productivity. If you stick to the same ways and routine, it can quickly lead to unengaged and unmotivated. Here are the greatest leadership strategies to grow a small business:

Honest Vision and Communications

Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to improving the performance of your team. When you start a business or are helping to lead one, there is always a vision in mind. To be a great leader, you have to express that vision every day through your work and how you communicate with your team. This means always staying on message and communicating with your how their work is a crucial part of this vision. Be honest when they have questions about their work and always stay on message.

Always Be Realistic 

Some leaders will make the detrimental mistake of setting very unrealistic goals for their team. They think shooting for such high standards will motivate them to try harder. It can actually have the opposite effect and lead to employee burnout which can have a negative impact on performance and productivity. Instead, keep the goals achievable, but also a bit challenging. When your team knows the goal will take hard work but isn’t impossible to achieve, they will work harder and improve their performance to help grow your small business.

Give Them Space

The last thing your team needs is a micromanager. Instead of delegating every detail down to the very last memo, give them the chance to prove their work on their own. Your team is not incompetent and they know how to do their work. By giving them space to perform their job, you are empowering them to be great. Of course, always be there for help, questions, comments, and concerns, but at a safe distance to help them flourish on their own. In the end, it can lead to better workflow and a stronger business.

Time Management Tips for Leaders

As a leader, one of the greatest tools you can have for better performance and productivity is time. Time can make or break the success of your team. The more responsibility you take on as a leader can easily lead to the loss of time management skills. Going through daily tasks and some things taking more precedence than others, it’s easy to fall behind and get caught up. These are some easy ways to improve time management as a leader:

Set Your Goals First

The first and most important step to managing your time better as a leader is setting your goals first. Think about how you want to improve your team and what tasks need to be done first. Choose the goals that are top priority and stick to those. Not only will this help put a lot into perspective, but it will also help you keep track of your progress and track what needs to happen next. 

Create a System

With goals in mind, it’s time to think of a proper system. A good system for time management is the quadrant time-management system. This system divides your tasks into four quadrants based on urgency and importance. Things that are not urgent or important must take the back seat, while other tasks that need your attention first. By creating a system for managing your time, you will have a greater chance of succeeding.

Plan for Interruptions

When planning out your next weeks, days, or months, be sure to set aside time for speed bumps and interruptions. One big mistake many leaders tend to make is not preparing for setbacks, especially when it comes to managing their time. It’s important to not jampack your schedule and leave room for any mishaps along the way. If there happen to be no setbacks of interruptions, then you’re ahead of schedule. 

Delegate Your Attention

As a leader, there are many people and tasks that require your attention. When getting back on track and making an effort to manage your time better, delegate your attention. It’s important to get a sense of things that need your immediate attention and what can wait. If your team in bombarding you with questions and interruptions, make it clear that some of the questions will have to wait until you and the rest of the team are back on track. Know what needs your immediate attention first and what can wait. This will make you a master of time management. 

Why Leaders Can Feel Overwhelmed

Many people think of leaders as invincible, that they know all of the answers, and never become overwhelmed. But when it comes down to it, leaders can become stressed just like any other team member. From feeling incompetent to not having accountability, there are many reasons why a leader may be feeling stressed. Today we will be looking into why leaders can feel overwhelmed in the workplace.

Leaders can be reluctant to ask for help. 

As a leader, you are usually the go-to person when it comes to answering questions and most of the time you are expected to know the answer. But sometimes leaders have question and feel hesitant about asking for guidance. Many leaders feel that by asking for help, they will seem incompetent in their role. So instead they internalize their stress as they struggle to come up with the right answer.

Leaders feel like they can’t be authentic. 

Many leaders feel like they can’t be themselves while at work. They feel as though they have to “fit a mold” or portray an ideal image. Thinking about your every step and constantly analyzing how you are saying something can be quite draining.

Leaders try to hide their fears. 

Leaders have many fears and anxieties. People on the outside looking in, don’t think of leaders are afraid of anything, but they couldn’t be more far from the truth. Leaders are often afraid of change, failure, and upsetting others.

Leaders can feel defeated by challenging personalities. 

Not everyone in the workforce is looking out for you. Sometimes leaders have to deal with people who purposely keep them out of the loop. Without the right information, wrong decisions can be made, making you look bad. Someone who is sabotaging your work and blocking you out can easily make you feel overwhelmed.

Leaders can become exhausted.

When you are put in a leadership role, in addition to carrying your own weight, you carry your entire team’s. This can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Exhaustion can claim even the strongest leaders and make them want to quit.

Leaders feel like they can’t count on anyone. 

When there is a lack of accountability with your team, a lot of stress can form. If team members are not finishing their work, a leader may feel like it’s up to them to finish everything that needs to be done.

Remember that as a leader, you are never alone. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Earning Respect From Your Team

Earning the respect of others can be a challenging task to conquer. Although it may be difficult, it is not impossible. Earning with respect starts with you. You need to treat others with the same respect you desire, in order to receive that same respect back. When someone enters a role of authority they will often believe they are entitled to respect based on their past experince or current role. This could not be further from the truth.

Rather than being a leader who demands respect, implement these few tips to earn respect from everyone on your team.

Be consistent.

If you say you are going to do one thing, but then do something entirely different, your credibility will dramatically decrease. As long as you follow through on your actions and don’t become a hypocrite, you will find that your team will support you along the way.

Be on time.

Making your team wait on you will drive your respect levels into the ground. Time is valuable, we only have so many hours in a day to accomplish what we need to do. Missing a meeting or showing up 30 minutes late shows that you do not care about the lives of others.

Be there for your team.

In today’s world, there are so many ways to get in touch with someone, from Twitter to Facebook, to Skype, to texting, to Facetiming. With so many channels of communication open, make it clear which one is the best way to get in contact with you. When you have decided which communication method is the best, don’t leave your team hanging. When someone messages you or asks you a question, try responding within 24 hours.

Don’t forget to forgive others and yourself.

Mistakes are completely natural and will happen from time to time. And that’s okay. Be sure to create an environment that encourages your team to experiment and emphasizes that failure isn’t always the worse thing. Be an example of how to bounce back from failure and keep moving forward.

No matter if they are wrong or right, show respect. 

When someone’s plan goes wrong, don’t point out their failure. This can be embarrassing and make your colleague feel unworthy. Instead, comfort your colleague and work together to see where things didn’t go as planned. Likewise, don’t be jealous or mean when someone succeeds. Success should be celebrated, don’t make a team member’s hard work seem insignificant.

 

 

How Leaders Make the Best Out of Mondays

For the longest time, Mondays have gotten a bad rep. They have often been seen as the mark the end of the weekend and the dreaded start of the workweek. However, Mondays can actually be the best day of the week. When it comes to being a successful leader, they make the best out of Mondays and use it as their most productive day.

Hyping Up the Team

Without a doubt, energies are very low on Mondays. Instead of letting your team sulk and dread the beginning of the week, make it a day they look forward to. A good leader will use Mondays to start the week off right and get their team members pumped. A fun and easy way to do this is to start the day off with a meeting that has complimentary donuts or simply grabbing everyone’s coffee orders. This way, your team members are happy and more likely to have a productive day.

Tackle Challenging Tasks First

It’s easy to let Mondays slip out of the way when you’re looking to just get it over with. Instead of waiting for it to just be over and waiting to be more productive on Tuesday, use Monday to get all of your toughest tasks over with. This way, by using the beginning of the week to handle your biggest challenges, the rest of the week is a breeze. You are able to put more focus on your team and their challenges. This will help your week go by much more efficiently. 

Revisit Overall Vision and Purpose

Mondays are the perfect day to revisit your overall goals, vision, and purpose. Instead of just going through the motions and losing sight of the bigger picture, think about your overall objection. It only takes a few minutes to go over strategic planning and goals that align with your vision or purpose. It’s even better to go over with your team of why you all are doing what you do and what the team is working towards. This will not only motivate and inspire your team, but it will also keep the right on track and become much more efficient. 

Look at Mondays as your most efficient day and the best opportunity to make your week as productive and efficient as possible.

Ways to Foster Belonging at Work

The human sense of connection is incredibly important: it impacts our health and productivity. While it may seem that belonging only matters in our personal lives, research conducted by the leadership development startup BetterUp indicates that workplace belonging is key to employee well-being and organizational functioning. Exclusion can beget both pain and psychological ailments. 

BetterUp found, among other statistics, that employees see a 56% increase in job performance when they feel like they belong. Furthermore, belonging benefits workers’ careers, since those who felt highly connected received twice as many raises and were 18 times more likely to be promoted in a six month period. Cofounder and CEO of BetterUp Alexi Robichaux states that the most important assets to your company are your people. “Belonging should be at the heart of every human capital strategy.” 

If you’re not sure how to do that, here are some strategies that came out of their research.

Create Allies at Work

A powerful solution to prevent feelings of exclusion is to add an ally to the team. Having an ally can counteract the 25% productivity loss seen in those who didn’t have one. This can be as simple as having someone who acknowledges and includes you. Peers make for very effective allies, and fortunately, there is no hierarchy to allyship: anyone can be an ally. 

Encourage Healthy Interactions

Psychologists Jane Dutton and Emily Heaphy coined the term high-quality connections (HQCs) to describe interactions that have a positive impact on our lives and work. In a high-quality connection, each person reciprocates positive regard and care, and as a result, both feel valued. HQCs play an important role in close relationships but also have the power to unlock meaning in less intimate interactions. These interactions can be brief and emotionally neutral, but the key is that they happen regularly and are not negative. 

Tips on Recovering from Failure

When we think of leaders and successful people, we usually just picture them in their successes. Seldom do we think of their failures. Failure can cause emotional pain and embarrass us, but the silver lining of failure is that it is an opportunity to grow and enrich our lives both personally and professionally.

 

The first gift of failure is humility. Acknowledging a mistake and/or failure takes us to a place of vulnerability. Admitting to it is powerful and helps us to affirm that we want to do the correct thing, in the case of wrongdoing, or to do better if we fell short. Humility is also a reminder that as humans, we are social and need to rely on one another.  

 

Another gift of failure is compassion. Admitting to mistakes can be unbearably embarrassing, painful, even, but that embarrassment can increase our compassion for others. Research has shown that we tend to focus more on ourselves when we are successful and have achieved a higher status. The vulnerability of failure opens us up to connecting with others. Sally Blount, a contributor to Forbes, puts it best: “It turns out that engaging in the small joys and comaraderies of everyday life is one of the best ways to soothe a chastened ego.” 

 

One of the best ways to recover from failure is to keep an openness to learning. Many people find they learn best through experience, and that includes experiencing failure. Of course, this isn’t easy, as we tend towards safety and comfort. The combination of humility and compassion helps us learn and better connects us with others. While success may increase confidence, it is failure that builds wisdom. 

Five Things Sucessful Leaders Do Every Day

To be a leader successfully there are a number of qualities one must possess. It can be a balance that once attained is the key to a business running smoothly and prospering. For example, leaders need to be able to make critical decisions that not everyone agrees with while still empowering their employees and making them feel confident in their own positions. While maintaining this balance there are five habits that become natural to leaders in any industry. 

 

Making Big Decisions (Quickly)

Leaders are counted on to make things happen. This means that most decisions fall to them, or at the very least they are always informed of the why’s and how’s someone else reached a critical decision. Often times there are choices to be made quickly and it’s a leaders job to keep the momentum going and make the big decision confidently. This comes with experience and skills acquired over time because while some would struggle to weigh all options, leaders are thinking a few steps ahead and able to produce an answer or solution quickly.

 

Challenging People

To get the best work leaders know how to challenge people while instilling confidence in them. This means knowing the capabilities of the employees and putting their minds to the task at hand. It’s important that everyone is always learning and by continually delegating and keeping people thinking, leaders allow the work environment to stay positive and fresh.

 

Providing Feedback

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. A successful leader is going to let their employees know that they are paying attention. By providing feedback, the relationship between the two naturally gains more trust and the chance for miscommunication narrows.

 

Allude Positive Attitude

Successful leaders are very aware of the benefits of a positive work space and they seek ways to improve morale. When people see their leader alluding a positive attitude it causes stability and inspiration. Everyone should feel like they contribute to the goals of the company, and leaders make sure to keep the energy motivating.

 

Keep Learning

Finally, to stay successful one must always be evolving. To stop learning is to stop growing and that’s the last thing a successful leader will let happen. While inspiring and teaching others, leaders must continue to educate themselves. By staying knowledgeable about trends, news, and any other statistics that can affect business the leader can be sure to also continue being a teacher to others that look to them for help and support.