© 2022, Smart Emmanuel, CMC®
Leaders have huge responsibilities. Many of people don’t see the responsibilities because some very skillful leaders lead effortlessly but the responsibilities are huge. It’s why you blame a soccer coach for his team’s poor performance even though he didn’t play on the field with them and their personal errors or stubbornness may have led to their poor performance. Regardless, the coach, the leader takes the blame. These responsibilities doesn’t stop us from aspiring to be leaders, so here’s how you can lead your team to success consistently.
It’s your job as the leader to work with the best people based on available resources. This doesn’t mean you have to work with bad people, it just means you have to work with the quality of good people you can afford. There’s a lot of creativity and persuasion required in leadership. You might not be able to pay some people with cash but you can share profit if it’s within your power or you can give them a new vision that may mean more than money to them. You may give them new assets that maybe more important than money to them. A rent free home or an official car. Whatever perk you can throw at good quality people is always a good investment. If there’s someone on your team that isn’t the right fit and can’t be worked on, there’s no need to make things get bad before helping the person to the door to find their own opportunity fit. Do it fast and do it politely. It’s important to let the team know why you had to let go of their colleague, friend and gist partner. They need to understand the standard you are building. They need to see your kindness even when letting the wrong fit go. If you need a team of creatives and someone is not creative but is analytical, if you can’t find another team for the person, release the person into the world to find his own team. The world doesn’t stop at your organization and if the person has the right perspective, they will thank you for this in future. Sometimes, you will select the wrong team members, admit your mistake and let them go. Do everything you can within your power to keep the right guys motivated, inspired and willing to achieve the goals you have set.
Be an example
I could have said “be the example” but there will be many more examples for the team even among them. Usually, leaders often think they have escaped the stage their followers or team members are at. They don’t want to get their hands dirty. Being a leader is being someone who is more knowledgeable and experienced or has new solutions others may not have. It’s important to use these solutions, insights, knowledge and experience when solving the same problems you want the team to solve. It’s okay to sit with the team and solve the problem with them as often as you can. They will draw inspiration and strength from this. For example, you want your team to design a new website and they seem to be getting it wrong. You can scream all day or you can sit with them to understand their challenges. And solve it with them. You won’t have to sit with them next time. They are smart. They will learn your methods and improve on it. You want your team to sell your new product and they return daily frustrated. You selected good sales people. They maybe facing a challenge that you can solve if you join them and see what the problem is. When you do, they are motivated and feel like a team. Sometimes when you join them, you might not solve the problem but you might see the need to bring someone that can solve the problem. The goal is not to sit in your nice corner office all day (you are not retired) and give orders. The goal is to lead the team to success.
As a leader, one thing you must avoid is constantly leading your team to failure. There is a lot pessimism in the world and people need a workplace or organization with positive energy and positive results. Failure cannot be a normal occurrence so it’s important you set realistic but audacious goals based on resources available to you. Have big and small goals. Celebrate every success and learn from every failure. Don’t tell the team you will get one million views in one month and fail to get one hundred. You may think because it won’t affect their paycheck they won’t be disturbed by the failure, they would be. It affects their self confidence and their confidence in the organization. If you believe you can achieve one million views and have a good plan, even if you fail, help the team understand what went wrong and how together, it can be corrected. Remind the team of past successes no matter how small. If you did those things together, you can scale whatever new big audacious but realistic goal you have set.
Never Give Up
Leading can be very tough. Some people are the right fit but they may have other problems. They maybe gossips, pessimists, unrealistic or insensitive. On some days, it can be very difficult especially when a team member is being difficult. Create clear ground rules. Some people try to be cunning. They will deny seeing your call or messages. They may deny receiving an instruction. They may do things their own way to the detriment of the organization. It’s important that you learn fast and create written consequences for unacceptable behavior. You must also help your team become and remain resilient. They must have the "never say never" mindset. Quitting should never be an option. It starts with you. Be an example. A good example and you will experience massive success all the way.