It doesn’t matter if you’re managing a department, a corporation, a country, or a team of athletes or entrepreneurs: as a leader, it’s your calling—it’s your cause—to make sure you help people get the most out of life.
And depending on your industry, that could cover anything from helping colleagues reach quota and increase revenue to securing the safety and lives of others.
Don’t underestimate what it takes to be an effective leader. To ensure that personal and team failure doesn’t happen on your watch, I’ve shared some important lessons I learned during my years as a police officer, network marketing leader, and proud CEO.
Lead by Example
Leaders leave footprints on the path to success for their team members to follow. As you embark on your journey, keep in mind that people are turning to you for guidance; they will model their behavior after yours.
But remember—it’s not just what you say but what you do—and HOW you do it—that determines your team’s progress.
Want your team to be positive, collaborative, and committed to the cause? Set the example by demonstrating:
- a strong work ethic
- a good attitude
- patience and attentiveness
- effective problem-solving
- consistent commitment
- posture, confidence, and positive representation of your brand
After all, you never know who’s watching and what they’re learning from you!
Set Clear Expectations
Your colleagues aren’t mind readers. If you want everyone to succeed, steer them in the right direction; communicate your ideas effectively so everyone is on the same page at all times. To leave someone in the dark is to leave room for error.
Effective leaders know that an out-of-sync team is an out-of-order team. To avoid this, they create and maintain a healthy dialogue within their organization so everyone understands:
- the task at hand
- the aspired end-goal
- their role in the project
- steps for completion
The less hoops your team has to jump through in order to complete a project, the better (and the faster they’ll get it done!). Faster turnarounds increase productivity and team morale but consistent training and transparent communication are the prerequisites for achieving this classic “win-win”.
Evaluate your current strategy. Are you holding meetings regularly to cite the targets ahead? Do you clearly articulate important insight, tools, procedures, and deadlines? Do you encourage collaboration and questions to sharpen everyone’s vision of the tasks ahead?
Hint: you should.
Give Credit Where it’s Due
Your fellow associates rely on your feedback to fuel their progress and growth—don't sell them short. Be their coach, their fellow ball player, and their cheerleader.
You should never stop teaching, and you should definitely never stop encouraging.
So when a team member exceeds expectations, shows improvement, or goes above and beyond, recognize them. Everyone likes to hear that they’re doing a good job. You might just make their day, and you may also motivate them—or others—to carry that positive behavior into the future.
Build Up New Leaders
I’ve seen many aspiring network marketing leaders fail because they don’t delegate and they don’t create new levels of leadership.
Smart and dedicated as you may be, you can’t handle everything on your own. The last thing you want is to bring your entire team’s progress to a halt because your task list has become too much to handle.
Instead, build up new leaders to not only help split up the tasks and decision-making, but also ensure a brighter future for your community or company. Invest your time and energy into turning top contenders—colleagues with the most potential or desire to learn and grow—into tomorrow’s frontrunners.
To do this, you must be approachable and willing to spend more time with those who are coachable. Inspire your staff to rise above the status quo by inviting members to lunch, sharing your vision for the future, complimenting their emerging leadership skills, or sending inspiring messages that educate and encourage.
A team’s strength shouldn’t be solely measured by the vigor of its leader, but by the valuable team players who work collectively towards everyone’s success.
The legacy starts with YOU.