“A leader knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
This is one of my favorite leadership quotes because it implies that to be a leader, you must have the knowledge and experience to motivate others. It is not about putting on a fancy suit, but creating an atmosphere where others want to contribute to the team in a great way. How do you lead? Chances are, the type of leader you think you are is not necessarily what your subordinates might say.
The modern workplace has become a playground of small, powerful computers, high-speed Internet, smartphones and social media. However, although the pace of the workplace has significantly increased, an effective leader’s qualities have not changed as much as their tools have. Though they have to be well-versed and proficient in these new methods of production and communication, they still need to inspire people, communicate effectively and maximize their resources to create a quality product.
Let us take a closer look at three essential elements of effective team leaders:
Leaders inspire. Think of a leader. Why did you choose this individual? Leaders inspire others. Leadership is all about creating positive change in others. Sparking positive changes in others leads to more productive workers and innovative solutions.
Leaders communicate effectively. It is wonderful to know what you want your employees to do, but if you do not know how to communicate it to them, it’s worthless. As a leader, you need to paint the objective to help your team achieve great things, and communication is a big part of this.
Effective team leaders should regularly check-in with their employees, provide suggestions and feedback for goal achievement, and understand when to listen and when to speak. Leaders communicate so people can self-manage and enable their team to communicate better with one another. Speaking honestly and with integrity also falls under effective communication.
Leaders maximize their resources. There will never be enough time in the day or money in the budget to do everything you want to do. Leaders must realize that resources are limited; therefore, the team must work together to achieve greatness. The whole is greater than the parts. Effective leaders are also great problem solvers — men and women who are constantly looking to improve processes.
The future of performance and goal achievement is social. Without an effective team leader, your performance and goals could be directly affected. Surround yourself by leaders who inspire you, communicate effectively, and want to make you be more productive in the workplace. The more you do this, the better leader you will become.
What else makes a great team leader?