THE BLOG
07/23/2013 12:50 pm ET Updated Sep 22, 2013

Effective Leaders Build Success-Driven Teams: Lead With Three C's

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Recently, I asked myself a serious question about my career: "Is it professionally healthy to remain a boss, or is it time to stand up and be leader?"

After a deep discussion with some coworkers, a colleague gave me a chart which described the traits of a boss versus a leader. It was a brief diagram, and yet its impact on me was strong. It led me to the conclusion that personally, I had experienced my fair share of good bosses; however, my interactions with great leaders were far and few between. Therefore, I decided it was time for me to stand up and position myself as a leader.

Leaders noticeably emit an attitude which allows them to build success-driven teams. They coach, demonstrate, develop and give credit. Most importantly, they lead with the understanding that there is no "I" in "team." As a result, professional women climbing the ladder of success must distinctly decide to strive with guidance in mind in order to gain the best results.

Under the governance of the few true leaders I worked with, I had a greater opportunity to flourish professionally. So, to start your journey on ditching the "boss" mentally and adopting a leadership attitude, apply the "Three C's" to build success driven teams: Collaborate, Cooperate and Coordinate.

Collaborate -- Don't Dictate
Leaders, personally and professionally, gain more by the applying the method of collaboration. Leaders coach and develop success-driven teams by creating a space where individuals can collaborate collectively to share ideas. Collaboration fosters engagement. It is important to allow others to feel they are an integral part of a process. When they do, a greater sense of value within the organization achieved. Essentially, everyone has the ability to add value to an organization, but the strategy rests in the hands of the "leader" to foster collaboration that builds success-driven teams.

Cooperate -- Don't Rely on Authority
Leaders must understand success is not gained with an "I" attitude. Instead, true success is multiplied when a "we" is engaged. When the team is collaborating in idea sharing, cooperate, and don't let your position go to your head. Again, your team is a reflection of you. Everyone has a voice and regardless of title, everyone deserves to be heard.

Coordinate - Don't Confuse
As a leader, it is important to share your vision clearly. Communicate your ideas with direction openly and at all levels to ensure full comprehension. Additionally, confirm your message is consistent and clarify the "gray areas" that may throw your team off track. Your team cannot garner success if they are confused.

In Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface, author J.G. Clawson indicated effective leaders understand the necessity of connecting with individuals at all levels within an organization. Therefore, ask yourself...

  • Am I commanding outcomes without gaining results?
  • Do I take credit for all achievements?
  • Do I exert leadership qualities with authority?

If you answered "yes" or raised an eyebrow and sighed "maybe," then take some time to reexamine some of your results and consider restocking your methods with more leadership directives.

So, all this is to say, as professional women climbing the ladder of success, make sure you stand out in comparison to the rest. It is acceptable to be a boss, but admirable to be a leader. For some, we already are in the leadership role in which this may prove beneficial for continued success.