Harnessing the power of leadership: How to build your team and your bottom line21 Mar 2023
There’s a good reason the phrase “no man is an island” has lasted for centuries since author John Donne wrote it almost four hundred years ago. Every single person is part of a vast, interconnected network of other people, especially in most organisations.
When you have multiple individuals working with each other, you need someone to control all those moving parts. That’s where leadership comes in. All groups need a clearly defined leader to guide them on their journey to success.
So, how do leaders create cohesive, efficient and productive teams? In this article, we’ll unpack all the elements of leadership and explore some practical strategies that capitalise on good leadership skills to produce strong teams and maximise organisational outcomes.
When people hear the word “leadership,” they often picture one of two things — a dictator who rules with an iron fist or a supportive captain who guides their crew with care. This speaks to a universal truth: There are many types of leaders, and perhaps there’s no one right way to be one.
However, there are certain leadership characteristics that have proven to be more useful than others in an organisational setting. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Empathy and listening to others.
- Demonstrating commitment to a cause.
- Understanding and communicating a vision.
- Decisiveness and determination.
How businesses can benefit from leadership
When an organisation’s leader or leadership team displays all of the above traits, they’re in a better position to create successful teams. This is because these leaders can develop a working environment and relationships that leads to productivity and satisfaction, rather than fear and stress. So, how do you implement all of this in reality?
Strategies for establishing effective teams
- Set a positive tone: No employee wants to work in an environment full of negativity, so leaders must ensure they approach their work with an optimistic outlook to prevent disengagement.
- Develop effective communication: It’s vital to open communication channels through technology such as instant messaging and meetings/check-ins. This avoids costly and possibly devastating delays and mistakes.
- Explain purpose and mission: Organisations must have a clear vision, and it’s up to the elected leaders to convey it to their staff if they want everyone to be dedicated to their work. An engaged employee is a productive one!
- Foster trust and collaboration: Leadership teams must promote a space in which workers feel comfortable working together and confiding in one another, else they risk creating an environment of mistrust and deception.
- Delegate tasks appropriately: There’s only so much a single person can do, no matter how skilled they are. Activities and workflows need to be assigned to the individuals most capable of completing them, and in reasonable volumes, to avoid missed deadlines or poor quality work.
- Give recognition: It’s essential to reward employees and acknowledge their work if leaders want to keep them motivated, enthusiastic and productive. Good behaviour is crucial to success, and reinforcing it is the only way to encourage it.
- Set clear expectations: Workers are bound to make costly errors if they don’t know what they’re meant to be doing or what their goals are, so it’s vital to explain roles and anticipated outcomes to each and every employee so that these aims can be achieved.
- Provide feedback: Leaders must give staff members constructive criticism to highlight areas of improvement, as well as offering guidance on how employees can perform better to enhance the organisation’s bottom line.