Against all uncertainties, many leaders are expected to deliver the best outcomes in different situations. Interestingly, succeeding in that responsibility requires unhindered inputs from other people. The big question is – what are the qualities that can help leaders get the best output from their team members?
There is a clear need to identify and understand the leadership qualities that could help you succeed in your current senior responsibilities. Since your success as a leader is dependent on the performance of your teams, let’s explore what’s required for getting the best output from them. Focusing on this leads to success for everyone!
How Leaders Can Get The Best Output From Their Teams
Contrary to humility, arrogance inspires fear and distrust. Unfortunately, when your team members don’t trust you, it limits the opportunity for maximum collaboration and peak performance. No one will want to take a risk or contribute ideas for fear there will be repercussions. Here is why humility is one of the leadership qualities for getting the best output from your team.
Showing humility conveys the message that everyone’s input and contribution is important, not just the most senior person. They will feel you take their ideas seriously. Therefore, you can show humility by considering and incorporating the opinions of team members.
After all, it is said that a tree cannot make a forest.
Empathy is the effort a leader makes to understand and try to relate to the feelings of others. In the context of leadership, empathy will help you understand the experience of your team members. Being empathetic will also enable you to take prompt actions when it is needed the most.
Exercising empathy makes it easier to clarify the causes of poor performance and coach them in a way that is considerate of the conditions affecting their success. With that higher level of clarity, you’ll be in a position to help struggling team members improve and perform at their peak.
Moreover, having this leadership quality will empower you to build strong and intimate relationships with everyone, including high performers. To a large extent, such a relationship can help you retain high-performing team members, and support poor performers in their efforts to improve.
Here is another factor that influences the level of trust between leaders and the teams they lead. Whether you have a way of measuring it or not, transparency will always affect how trusted you are as a leader. Beyond being transparent as the leader, it is also important to encourage transparency among team members.
When transparency is encouraged, it will inspire team members to collaborate more effectively in a way that increases peak performance. First, you have to lead by example and model it.
Interestingly, a higher level of transparency helps team members make maximum use of the resources available to them. On the contrary, a lack of transparency often limits peak performance even when the potential is there.
To underpin how important this leadership quality is, check the statement below.
‘Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Looking at this statement, it is important to note that leading people from what they are to what they are capable of becoming requires a great deal of enthusiasm. In the psychological sense, being enthusiastic is a contagious thing. With this in mind the team is inspired by the leader’s level of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, you cannot inspire what you don’t have.
Having the potential for great achievement is not enough. Your team needs an activating force for them to go beyond what they are capable of doing right now.
Visionary leaders are rarely satisfied with the status quo. Their preference is always to live in pursuit of their vision, not just what’s in front of them today. In that same sense, you can say that their core motivation is to lead instead of managing people and situations. Visionary leaders see the world not as it is but as it could become through their leadership. And, they see the potential of a team getting to that vision, together.
Instead of being dependent on existing capabilities, they create new opportunities for higher performance. Based on their unique perception of what is possible, they use the vision as a guide for supporting and directing the potential in people, processes, and resources.
Comparatively, a growth mindset and a fixed mindset are quite different. While everyone else often believes that most things in life are fixed. Leaders who get the best output from their teams thrive with a growth mindset, and understand that with the right support and encouragement, there’s a lot more potential under the surface. This growth mindset also guides their relationship with the people they lead, helping others to realize and believe in the value of higher levels of performance.
The belief is that even though goals may be fixed, the potential to accomplish them well can grow over time. This belief, in turn, drives the commitment to help team members increase their capacity and output. Now, think about every possible form of growth that may exist in the team you are leading.
Self-motivation is the ability to positively motivate yourself in both good and bad times. The above definition implies that you don’t have to wait for external forces to move you into action. In other words, operating in a reactionary mode is not how leaders get the best output from their teams.
The ability to be self-motivated can affect other things like:
- Personal initiative
- Commitment to specific goals
- Drive for achievement
If you don’t have sufficient self-motivation, you may be lacking the initiative needed to inspire others to take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities. That is just one reason why self-motivation is important for effective team leadership.
As a takeaway from this post, it is worth noting that your responsibility is to lead instead of managing people. The big question is – where is your team at now, and where can you apply the leadership qualities in this post to help your team reach their potential and achieve a vision they didn’t even know they were capable of reaching!
Rachelle Lee is President of Einblau & Associates, a full-service management consulting firm serving clients across North America. She specializes in leadership coaching and training, strengths-based assessments, and succession planning.