In order to work effectively in a team, it is not only the members that need to have an enthusiastic impact, but the position of the team leader is also extremely important. It is the person who performs the work of directing the group, also the person with the best skills in recognizing and evaluating work, and members, knowing how to divide work, and guiding the group.
What are the characteristics of a successful team?
Fully functioning groups and excellent teams possess 12 key characteristics:
- A clear mission. The task or objective of the group is well understood and accepted by all.
- Informal atmosphere. The atmosphere is informal, comfortable, and relaxed. It is a working atmosphere in which everyone is involved and interested. There are no signs of boredom.
- Lots of discussion. Time is allowed for discussion in which everyone is encouraged to participate, and discussion remains pertinent to the task of the group.
- Active listening. Members listen to each other. People show respect for one another by listening when others are talking. Every idea is given a hearing.
- Trust and openness. Members feel free to express ideas and feelings, both on the issues and on the group’s operation. People are not afraid to suggest new and different ideas, even if they are extreme.
- Disagreement is OK. Disagreement is not suppressed or overridden by premature group action. Differences are carefully examined as the group seeks to understand all points of view. Conflict and differences of opinion are accepted as the price of creativity.
- Criticism is issue-oriented, never personal. Constructive criticism is given and accepted. Criticism is oriented toward solving problems and accomplishing the mission. Personal criticism is neither expressed nor felt.
- Consensus is the norm. Decisions are reached by consensus, in which it is clear that everyone is in general agreement and willing to go along. Formal voting is kept to a minimum.
- Effective leadership. Informal leadership shifts from time to time, depending on circumstances. There is little evidence of a struggle for power as the group operates. The issue is not who controls, but how to get the job one.
- Clarity of assignments. The group is informed of the action plan. When action is taken, clear assignments are made and accepted. People know what they are expected to do.
- Shared values and norms of behavior. There is agreement on core values and norms of behavior that determine the rightness and wrongness of conduct in the group.
- Commitment. People are committed to achieving the goals of the group
20 Powerful Ways That Will Lead Your Team to Greatness
Here are 20 of the most powerful habits you can use to steer your team to greatness.
- Give them the freedom to use their talents. The best leaders step aside and allow those on their team to do what they do best. Control leads to compliance, but autonomy leads to engagement–and, in return, unleashing greatness.
- Give them permission to make mistakes. Make sure your people know it’s better to fail than to be timid. If you are going to create great teams, coach those you lead that mistakes are part of the process -and they have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.
- Guide them to work together toward a compelling vision. Working toward a common vision is the beginning of progress for any team, and a sure sign that they’re on the road to success. When your team learns to work together and not as a group of individuals pulling in different directions, things start to find meaning. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you work together toward a shared compelling vision.
- Show up as the leader and develop leaders within. As the leader, you’ll find that your own habits ripple out to your team–so show up as a leader and lead by example. Make sure that what you say is congruent with what you do. Then take the next step by encouraging your team to step into their own leadership. Give every team member the ability to move into a suitable leadership role by empowering and encouraging them.
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- Give them what they need to be successful. There’s a simple way to find out what your team needs: ask them. You may not always be able to give them everything they want, but you can always work hard to make sure they have everything they need.
- Create an environment of fun and enjoyment. Everyone performs better when they are able to relax and are having a good time. Fun is the element that allows people to make it through the difficult tasks and overwhelming deadlines, and the best leaders know how to make it work without compromising the team’s work ethic or commitment to excellence.
- Model accountability and teach responsibility. Be the kind of leader people can trust to follow through on everything you say. Great leaders know they need to develop a reputation of being true to their word. It tells others they can count on you and shows the kind of behavior you expect.
- Be decisive and purposeful. Decisions need to be made on a constant basis–and thriving teams with great leaders know how to act decisively and with purpose. Growth and success are contingent on determined action; procrastination and perfectionism will consistently slow everything down. The best leaders have the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.
- Don’t underestimate the power of EQ. It can be hard to understand, but EQ is just as important as IQ. If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you’re not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships–then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far with your team or leadership.
- Teach them that everything is hard before it’s easy. Encourage your team to persist until something happens. Remember that they will never know their limits until they’re pushed to the edge. Great leaders know that when you push people to their limits, you are teaching them to always go further. When you exceed your limits enough, you realize that there really are no limits.
- Give them something to learn and grow on. The best teams, like the best leaders, are never stagnant. Build plenty of opportunities for your team members to learn and grow–whether it’s a class, a conference, or even a reading group or lunchtime seminar series.
- Show them fearlessness and encourage them to be brave. As a leader, you need to show your team fearlessness and encourage them to be brave, to take chances, to go out on a limb. Great leaders coach and teach their team–they are right there with them, not on the sidelines screaming and instilling fear but showing them fearlessness and encouraging bravery within them.
- Earn their respect and give them yours. The way to unleash greatness in your team is to both show them respect and give them reason to respect you. Mutual respect is critical to any team, so set an example by treating everyone you encounter with respect.
- Admit that you don’t have all the answers. Transparency is important, and so is showing your human side. Let your team see that leadership doesn’t mean having all the answers–or pretending to. Instead, focus on leading everyone toward greatness by showing them the benefits of collaborative problem-solving.
- Create win-win situations. The highest level of success comes not from beating others out but from creating win-win solutions. Everyone benefits from little gains along the way, and the more opportunities you create, the bigger the benefit.
- Be agile and flexible. Great leaders embrace agility and honor flexibility because they know that things are constantly changing and flexibility is a fundamental requirement for leadership. Being an agile and flexible leader aligns with the need for your team to be collaborative and cooperative, and it aligns and empowers teams to hold those qualities.
- Get personal as you are being professional. Building a great team means building a personal relationship with each member of your team. It doesn’t have to be a close friendship, but a recognition of people as fully developed human beings and not just team members who get the job done. Make sure you spend some time getting to know them, show them that you genuinely care about them and have their best interests in mind. When you return, you’ll have a team that’s ready to unleash their greatness.
- Be honest and encourage candor. Great leader is honest; they encourage their teams to be transparent and speak with candor. Especially when things go wrong, it is important that everyone feel that they can speak with honesty. honesty leads to problems being dealt with and difficulties being solved. Honesty is the best policy.
- Be accessible and available: Part of being a leader involves being there for your team. If they have a question or need advice, make sure it’s easy for them to access you. With mobile email and cell phones, there is no reason your team shouldn’t be able to get in touch with you when they need to.
- Consistently praise them and always appreciate them. If you want a great team, if you want happy people, you have to praise them and acknowledge them and praise them some more. When you let your team know you’re aware of what they can be and what they can become, that is when you can begin reaping the benefit of their growing greatness
Reviewing The 5 Levels of Leadership – John Maxwell
About the Authors
Dr. John C. Maxwell – The world’s leading leadership training expert, author of more than 50 bestsellers in major US magazines.
About “The 5 Levels of Leadership”
“A business executive. A softball coach. A classroom teacher. A volunteer coordinator. A parent.
Whether you’re one of these things or all of these things, one thing remains true:
You are a leader.
But where are you on your leadership journey, and where do you go from here? Over my years of teaching about leadership, that question exists at the heart of so many leaders. Everyone wants to know where they stand and how to get to the next level. And you are probably no different!
That’s why I developed the 5 Levels of Leadership paradigm in my book, Developing the Leader Within You, and then expanded it in my book, The 5 Levels of Leadership. I wanted to help leaders understand and increase their effectiveness. And while there is more to this teaching than space in this blog, today I want to offer a general overview of the 5 Levels as a reminder that you are still on your way as a leader – and so am I! So feel free to bookmark this page or print it out as a quick guide for your journey as a leader” – By Dr. John C. Maxwell
The benefits of the five levels of leadership
Following John Maxwell’s five levels of leadership can help you be successful, increase your earnings and become more influential. The levels of leadership can improve your rapport with team members and help you develop important leadership skills. They can also help you develop a stronger network with people in your industry.
Developing leadership skills can help you increase certain professional qualities, build and maintain relationships and increase your earning potential. There are many different theories and ideas on leadership, including John Maxwell’s “5 Levels of Leadership.” Maxwell’s levels are Position, Permission, Production, People Development, and Pinnacle. Learning about these levels may help you understand how to become a better leader in your workplace
Navigating the five levels of leadership
Each of the five levels of leadership in John Maxwell’s theory builds on the previous one, allowing you to organize and understand your leadership growth. As you progress through the levels and your network and influence grow, leading should become easier and you should be more effective at it. The five levels are:
- People development
When people begin a managerial job they have a position of authority, so they need to demonstrate certain qualities to be strong leaders. Some managers and supervisors stay at the Position level for the span of their careers. They rely on company rules, policies, regulations, and organization charts to influence their employees.
You can master this level of leadership by learning management skills, being approachable and making an effort to collaborate with your employees. A more open, accepting attitude can increase your team’s motivation to produce better work and improve their workplace satisfaction. To improve your leadership skills at this level, you can:
- Empathize with employees to show them you care.
- Praise good work to increase motivation.
- Deliver and receive constructive feedback to continually improve practices.
- Communicate with your team to ensure they receive the necessary information to successfully perform tasks.
When you ask your employees to do a task, they will do their best. They may try to help you because they feel appreciated, included in decisions, cared for, trusted and valued. To get to this level of leadership, remember to:
- Consider how your decisions will affect all the people around you.
- Treat all of your employees equally.
- Always support your team members.
- Make sure that all of your employees can work well with other teams.
- Always hold people accountable for mistakes.
- Relate to all the people on your team well.
- Meet or exceed your goals.
- Get positive reviews from your team members, managers and clients.
Make an effort to learn more about your employees, even those on other teams and those who tend to keep to themselves. This gives everyone faith in your integrity and makes them more willing to do their best.
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Production leaders produce results and create a significant impact on their organizations. They can give useful advice, help to resolve conflicts and motivate people. Since they have excellent relationships with all of their employees, they can count on them to do an outstanding job. Leaders at this level can improve their skills by making their communication style more consistent and improving their people skills. They typically do the following:
- Think about the best ways to make the connections needed for employees to feel engaged and empowered.
- Listen and give directions.
- Welcome employees’ input on decisions.
- Adapt to new technologies or changes in the industry.
- Make sure that all employees are well-trained.
- Have people admire them for their personality and charisma as well as their technical skills.
Production leaders can create a high-productivity team, department or company. They have more leadership skills than most other people, but they can learn even more by continuing to make an effort to improve.
To gain a leadership position at a large organization, you should know how to help other people become leaders as well. People Development leaders invest their energy, time and money in increasing the leadership skills of others. Individuals who move from Production to People Development successfully are:
- Consistent, honest, inclusive and easy to talk to
- Hard workers who lead by example
- Skilled at communicating expectations for employees’ roles clearly
- Fair decision-makers
- Mentors to many employees
- Willing to recommend employees for promotions
- Eager to help former employees develop their careers
- Ready to talk to the people on their team about any issue
- Promoted for their excellent management skills
You should think about the future and consider the way teams across your company work together to achieve their goals. Work on your interpersonal and communication skills to inspire others. That way, you can explain your team’s goals in a way that motivates your employees and gets them excited about your company’s future endeavors.
Along with mentoring employees, Pinnacle leaders have become skilled enough to help others reach the People Development stage and become outstanding leaders themselves. They improve the reputations of their organizations, encouraging the most talented, innovative people to work there. Pinnacle leaders:
- Increase productivity and make almost any team or department successful.
- Create environments that help everyone and contribute to their successes.
- Have influence outside of their organizations or the industries they work in.
- Treat everyone fairly and with respect.
- Show integrity, keep their promises and behave in an honest, ethical way.
- Allow the people they supervise to make independent decisions whenever possible.
- Surround themselves with smart, talented people who want to do their best.
- Lead people who produce innovative products and get excellent business results.
- Communicate well with other teams.
Pinnacle leaders often speak or conduct workshops about leadership. They also have employees who sincerely believe that they always prioritize their interests. To become a Pinnacle leader, you need to be a hard worker who leads by example.
Tips for achieving the five levels of leadership
Here are some tips to help you achieve the five levels of leadership.
- Ask for and employ constructive feedback: You should ask for feedback from your team members and managers to get more information about the areas where you excel and where you can improve. Ask specific questions about your performance and make sure that people know they can give positive or negative comments without consequences. You can encourage your employees to be honest by asking for anonymous feedback.
- Find your leadership style: There are different leadership styles that you can research to determine which one fits your personality best. In some cases, you may find that a mix of styles works well, or you may need to use a different style for specific projects or processes. The team you work with could also affect your leadership style. For example, if you work with a team of highly skilled individuals who you trust, you could try a Laissez-faire or hands-off style.
- Accept leadership opportunities: Finding leadership opportunities can help you practice and develop your style. Adding projects that you have led to your resume may assist you with earning promotions. You can also ask to lead team meetings, present a group project to managers or take advantage of other leadership opportunities available in your workplace.
- Find a mentor: A mentor is an experienced individual who can help you work through the five levels of leadership by offering guidance and advice. When you find someone to be your mentor, ask to get together for regular meetings so that you can ask for advice. For example, you could have coffee once per week. Prepare a few questions for each meeting, and spend most of your time listening to advice from your mentor.
- Develop leadership skills: You should work to improve your communication, active listening and problem-solving skills. Be honest, confident, committed to your job and inspiring to others. Think about your decisions carefully, be accountable for any errors and delegate responsibilities to others when needed.
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