“Leadership” is no foreign concept to you. You’ve heard all about how to hone your leadership skills, sharpen your vision casting and manage people. So the tips I want to outline today may just serve as a reminder to you, but it’s always important that we shape our leadership around empowering, investing in and equipping our team members to succeed.
Here are my five tips, based on my personal experience, to gaining and maintaining loyal and impactful teams that you lead:
1. Invest uniquely in each team member.
I believe that there are three questions people inwardly ask of their leaders:
1) Do they care about me?
2) Can they help me?
3) Can I trust them?
Know their dreams, source of energy and how they need encouragement and direction. If you spend the time to get to know your team individually, you will eventually start to understand how they respond to certain types of management and leadership. Leaders often lead the way they want to be led, and not the way that is most effective for their team. Get to know your people and what makes them tick.
2. Place people in their strength zones.
People operating in their giftedness is best for them and best for the team. And while many times we are trying to simply fill seats on the bus to keep it moving, it’s important to make sure they are in the right seat on the bus over time. Investing enough time and intention to identify what your team members are most strong in will communicate that you care about them, you care about their future and ultimately want them to succeed.
Tip: Provide tools to discover strengths, like personality tests (Strengths Finder, DISC, Myers Briggs, Caliper).
3. Model the behavior you desire.
This is pretty simple. What you do trumps what you say. If you want people to give to the nonprofit, you also need to give. If you ask for transparency and honesty in meetings, you also have to be open in meetings.
Modeling what you want to see in others instills trust and serves as a constant reminder of the expectations of a team.
4. Transfer the vision.
You need to over-communicate the vision, because the vision always leaks. If you constantly remind people of the “why,” they become aware of how their role plays into the bigger picture, ultimately fueling their purpose. If people don’t understand how their work impacts the goal and mission, they quickly start to feel unmotivated and less valuable.
5. Reward results.
What gets rewarded gets repeated. It’s as simple as that. Every single person likes to be acknowledged for doing a good job. How they like to receive that feedback will vary, but they want it in some way, shape or form.
Give praise both publicly and privately for a job well done—privately first, publicly second.
Not only will this flatter the deserving team member, but it will also communicate to the rest of the team that you care and acknowledge hard work when you see it, ultimately encouraging them to want to perform the same.
We know leadership is hard. There are hardly enough hours in the day to do your job, much less spend time leading others in theirs. You can’t reach your goals without your teams, so pour into them as much as you would your business plan and marketing efforts. With some intentionality and planning, you can create time and moments to truly invest in your team in ways that will play a huge role in your ultimate success and growth as an organization.