last time I checked, Amazon US offers 27,901 books for sale in its “leading teams” category and 874 in its “leading business teams” category. Frankly, I was surprised by the latter number while realizing that there are all manner of teams in other areas of collaborative initiative. Here is a brief excerpt from a blog post by Jeff Wolf in which he shares his thoughts about the unique challenges that leaders of all teams encounter.
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To create a fully functional team, the leader needs to exhibit six leadership traits.
[These are the first two.]
o Build trust. Trust is a three-way street: (1) You must be able to trust each member of your team. (2) They, in turn, must be able to trust you. (3) Team members need to trust one another. Trust is earned, so set the stage for success by creating regular and ongoing teambuilding opportunities. You can start with small projects involving two-and-three person teams. In due course, you’ll want to expand team size and the scope of assigned projects. Never compromise your team’s trust in you by assigning a task that is well beyond their skills level. This managerial mistake sets them up for failure, and it can irreparably damage your relationship.
o Communicate. Watch any police drama on television and you will notice how law enforcement officers remain in constant communication during tactical operations. Their lives depend on it. You can’t expect your team to understand and execute a task without clearly communicating your goals and objectives. In some cases, you will be a hands-on leader, participating in the task and offering close supervision. In other instances, you may assign a team leader, who will be charged with keeping you up-to-date on the task’s progress.
Communication must flow in several directions: How you articulate your message. How others hear your words (the takeaway message). How well you listen to-and hear-what team members say.
Any glitch in these communication channels can lead to a major disconnect, even project failure. And if you rush through communication efforts, rattling off details without ensuring clear messaging or ending a meeting with “Got it? Okay, let’s do it,” you discourage team members from asking crucial questions that may make or break their endeavor.
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Here is a direct link to the complete article.
Jeff Wolf is founder and president of Wolf Management Consultants, LLC, a premier global consulting firm that specializes in helping people, teams and organizations achieve maximum effectiveness. He is the author of Seven Disciplines of a Leader and coauthor with Ken Blanchard and Steven Covey of Roadmap to Success.
To learn more about Jeff and his work, please click here.