1. Take total responsibility for yourself.
Most leaders are quick to take responsibility for their successes, but a true leader also needs to own their mistakes and failures. When you make a mistake, apologize and take ownership of it. This sets the tone for your team that the mission is more important than one person’s ego. Own each step of the process: if a member of your team has fallen short, recognize your own role in that failure. Even the most capable team member will fall short if not given proper training, encouragement, and feedback. Keep this in mind when addressing staff issues.
2. Show respect for your team.
It takes mutual respect between a team and their leader to reach goals, so ask questions about your team’s personal life to show your interest in them. Respond thoughtfully to their suggestions and show respect for new ideas. Recognize that you can learn from your team as much as they can learn from you. Humbling yourself actually elevates you as a leader because your team will have greater respect for you and your vision.
3. Make staffing decisions with intention.
Think ahead with each staffing choice you make. Look for the potential in each staff member and make a specific plan to mentor them and foster that potential. Consider promotions thoughtfully and make sure that each person is ready to be moved up before placing them in a role that could be beyond their experience or skill set. If more mentoring is required, take that extra time to coach them with that newly elevated role in mind. If it’s clear that a member of your team isn’t a good fit, let them go. To keep someone on your team who isn’t fitting into the company culture is a disservice to your company and to that team member.
While these three steps are simple in theory, putting them into practice can prove difficult. However, with practice, these steps can guide you toward being an effective leader capable of uniting a team and working toward your goals cohesively.