It is often said that the best results in any business enterprise come as a result of teamwork. Any team, however, needs leadership, and in order to be clear on what the targets are, that leadership needs to come from one individual. But all too often, team leaders, be they line managers, senior managers, directors or even CEOs, lose sight of the fact that they are members of the team too. In fact, a good CEO is not only the ultimate team leader, but is the ultimate team player too.
Businesses are all about people. Of course, it helps to have a good product or a great service; but it’s people who either produce a product or strive to make a service work. Creating effective teams of people is the acknowledged way of achieving targets. But if the team leaders stand aloof from the team, they cannot be seen as being a member of that team.
Leading by dictatorship (being autocratic) is certainly a way of leading. It can get results because most people want to keep their jobs and jockey into position in order to climb the promotion ladder. They understand that pleasing the dictator is a necessary way of achieving that, and so they strive to meet targets. However, in this type of environment, the task is not an enjoyable one, and in order to get the best out of any team of people; it should be. Job satisfaction for all should be a prerequisite.
Being an effective team leader, at any level within a company is not easy. If you become too friendly, you can lose the air of authority that is necessary to keep your team focused. On the other hand, being too distant and remote leads to that “dictatorship” or “us and them” path.
The best team leaders are able to strike a happy medium. They do this by knowing each member of the team; knowing enough about each team member to recognise how best to motivate them, listening and reacting to the concerns of others and balancing the needs of the business with those of its people. It is in effect, leading by example.
Gaining the respect of your team in this way, as a team player as well as a team leader, will reap top dividends. To find out how St Andrews Consulting could help, contact us today.