Leading a team is a great responsibility; it requires great foresight, listening skills, a vision, and the ability to empower those who work with you, not just beneath you. While there are many different leadership styles, I think the right leader can adapt to their team to ensure everyone is getting what they need and the team continues to reach their goals and push on. So how do you know if you’re effectively leading your people? Well, to start you can ask yourself a few simple questions.
Am I a Driving Force in This Department?
When your team brainstorms or implements new ideas are you a part of that process? Are you sought out for your ideas, approval, or assistance? If not you need to ask yourself ‘why?’. As a leader you should be the one pushing new ideas forward and developing your talent. One of my favorite quotes is “The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.” —Ken Blanchard. If you don’t set out a vision for your team, they will set one for themselves without you, or worse yet, they will each develop their own vision causing a large disconnect. Cast a vision and make sure you’re working with your team to make that vision a reality.
Am I Continually Developing My People?
I’ve always respected leaders that truly recognize the potential of their people and want to help that talent grow. The most valuable leaders are the ones who force their team to rise above and push for more. If you can tap into someone’s potential and grow them to be as successful, if not more successful than you then you are definitely doing something right. Be the leader that you yourself would want to have; one that demands respect, but also gives the same respect to others.
Don’t Stifle Your People
While no one likes to lose a valued member of the team, understand that at some point everyone moves on and that is ok. One of the things I admire most here at Dominion is the ability for talent to transcend departments. For example, we had a guy who started off in Operations and he did really well there and you know what? - he was happy there. But, the Operations Manager saw the potential there and recommended him to fill a new role and you know what happened? - he moved into his new role and has excelled there as well. The point is, if you see potential let it grow; stifling your talent will only burn you in the end.
Wondering if you’re an effective leader? You should start by asking your team.