Effective leadership isn’t just about stepping up and taking the lead. It is about surrounding yourself with a team so that everyone is supplementing each others’ skills. A strong leader means a strong leadership team.
Here are a few tips on developing a strong leadership team:
1. Know your own strengths and surround yourself with others who have strengths that you don’t have. If you are a global thinker, find some detail-oriented people to be on your team. If you are good at generating new ideas, but struggle to keep up the day to day, get some people around you who can manage the every day details and implement the plans and strategies that are already in place.
2. Communicate clearly and effectively. And in person. We rely heavily on texting and emailing. These are wonderful and helpful, of course. But don’t forget to touch base with people in person, even if it is for a few minutes once in a while.
3. See each of your people as individuals. We know there have to be policies in place and we need these policies to be clear and to be followed. This keeps everything on a level playing field. However, if your policies can be general enough to accommodate individuals’ needs, you will have a happier, healthier team.
4. Use “Yes…and…” with your team. Sometimes people’s ideas seem old or impossible. Sometimes a person just says off the wall things all the time and it is difficult to listen to them. But if we, as leaders, try to problem-solve by using the concept that we can say “Yes, and…” to any idea or any person, we stop shutting down ideas and people before they even get started. This is crucial to keeping a team healthy and happy.