Are You Really a Team Leader?
Do you think of yourself as a leader? For many of us, there’s something inside of us that is drawn to leadership roles. We can’t help it. We’re the ones who love to take charge in a group setting, and we love being the ones who make decisions. We see potential and opportunity in every situation and we like watching efforts come together to culminate in goal achievement.
Does this sound familiar? If so, welcome to the leadership club. You’re in the right place. This means that everyone who is attracted to leadership positions are by default good team leaders, right? Nope, not even by a longshot.
In fact, many who are natural leaders are not natural team leaders. Whether you fall on the team side or not, understanding the differences can help you go from frustration to elation and put you on the path of achievement faster than you thought possible. If you are like many of us whose leadership position requires you to lead a team, you’ll want to take note of the insights and tips from the world’s foremost expert on the subject, John C. Maxwell.
For John, team leadership is more than simply being in charge of a group of people. “A collection of individuals does not suddenly transform into a team merely because they show up to the same workplace. A true team—one whose members work together to achieve greatness—has a unified vision.” What John means by “vision” is a purpose and direction that everyone on the team understands and knows that what they’re doing will help to achieve that purpose in the long run.
In order to effectively executive a vision, John says you need “to rally a team around a common cause. You must see the vision clearly, say it constantly, and show it creatively.” This means that with turnover and the natural erosion of direction and motivation, teams need to constantly be reminded of the vision and repeatedly shown their progress along the way. This is most easily done when a team is unified. John says: “Unity is the glue that holds the team together, in part by reducing competitiveness among its players. When people share a common goal, they have the mindset of completing each goal instead of competing against one another. That is, they look for ways to make the other person better instead of trying to outshine one another.”
Being a team leader requires patience and persistence. As John says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, take others with you.” This is the beauty of teams. They assemble a group of diversified individuals and talents that can take you farther than you would be able to go on your own. For some leaders, adjusting to the requirements of effective team leadership is a challenge. This means holding folks accountable, being sympathetic to their human circumstances, and having sensitivity to their emotional states. You can choose to actively develop these skills or choose to do projects and initiatives on your own that don’t require much team participation. However, when you are put in a position to lead a team ,you’ll at least be equipped to lead them with vision and unity.
According to John, unity is ultimately your job. “As a leader, unity begins with you. You must find the dream in order to bring the team together. In teaching leadership, I encounter many organizations that are suffering because they have people in leadership positions that have never crystallized a compelling vision. The blind are leading the blind, and the organization is adrift as a result—lacking any clear sense of direction.”
Be the leader that can employ vision and unity when you’re leading a team. Leadership has many different applications and understanding your strongest suit of leadership will help you in achieving your dreams. Do you want to become an effective and strong team leader? Let John and his expert faculty help you in achieving your dreams. Find out more about the John Maxwell Team by clicking here right now!
Shila Morris is a classic entrepreneur at heart with several businesses and interests. She is the President and co-owner of the Squeeze In breakfast and lunch restaurant chain and has helped the business grow from one location to five and break into the franchising industry. She is also vice-president and co-owner of YoungSocial, a marketing, events and communications agency for high profile clients. Shila is passionate about helping business owners and entrepreneurs become successful and often volunteers and speaks to groups across the United States on the topics of leadership, restaurant industry, marketing and motivation. Her appearances include delivering a TEDx speech at the University of Nevada Reno, introducing First Lady Michelle Obama at a local event, and teaching workshops on marketing for the John Maxwell Team at the biannual International Maxwell Certification. She lives in Reno Nevada with her husband Chad and their three children Wesley, Emerie and Annadelle and is currently studying at the University of Nevada Reno for her Masters degree in Sociology.