Reaching the Top as a Team

leadership quote - Smart Circle imageWhen you think of people who became fabulously successful you might think of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, or Walt Disney. It is important to remember they didn’t achieve their success on their own. Before reaching the top, everyone has help along the way in the form of teamwork.

Develop leadership skills
If you’re going to lead a team, then you should have strong leadership skills. Not everyone is a born leader, but anyone can learn and improve. Ask advice from people you believe are good leaders, take courses, and practice what you learn. Then as your organization grows pass those skills and the opportunity to learn leadership skills on to others.

You want the people you work with to be as capable as you so as your company grows it’s growing on a foundation of strength. Don’t be afraid of surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you. As Warren Buffet said, “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”

Recognize your strengths and weaknesses
Now that you’ve surrounded yourself with the best people you can find, listen to their feedback. Sometimes we get so caught up in what needs to be done, what we believe we can do, we end up losing perspective. You need to be humble enough to recognize the difference between going too far out on a limb and testing a limb’s limits; then come back when necessary.

Keep the lines of communication open
You might have great ideas, but you won’t have all the great ideas. Keep the lines of communication open so people feel encouraged to both contribute their ideas and also bring problems to your attention. Let people know their opinions, thoughts and contributions matter.

Share your vision as a leader
What is the goal of this endeavor you’ve started? Does everyone on the team know the goal? Are they invested in its accomplishment? A shared vision binds a team, makes it stronger and more focused. It makes achievements toward the goal something that can be celebrated by everyone. This Big Think video discusses Steve Job’s favorite product: The Apple Team.

Create a positive atmosphere
Most likely you’re going to be spending more time with the people you work with than your own family. You need to nurture relationships with those people. Praise them when they’ve done something praise worthy. Not just in private but to others as well. Make sure people know how much you appreciate what they do. They’ll want to do even more!

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