For those of you that know me, you know that nothing excites me more than coaching and leading teams. I love it. I find fulfillment in leading and developing highly efficient, excellent, healthy teams more than most other things I do in business.
I took our entire Executive team and the team leads from Catalyst and GiANT Impact away for a two-day retreat. The goals were simple: learn more about each other. Learn about our unique wiring. Learn the DNA of our current team, and create energy around becoming great leaders.
Prior to that time, I asked these leaders what they believe makes great team leaders.It did not take long for us to come up with a list of 21 qualities that would surface from the greatest team leaders we know.
I have narrowed it down to the top ten, which is still too many, but I can't edit anymore. Before we start, I have one MAJOR precursor to this list.It was the point of the entire exercise, and 9.99 times out of 10 this is true with this exercise.
If you look at this entire list of characteristics, less than five to ten percent of the traits would be qualified as a "resultsbased" trait.In other words, almost all the great traits that are attractive and constitute great leadership have to do with how you lead PEOPLE. John Maxwell always says that leadership is influence. I would add that you influence people, not necessarily projects. So as we go through this list, I would love for you to think about where you have seen these play out in the leaders you have respected the most and how you can apply them to your leadership.
Here they are in no particular order:
1. Leverage Influence for the Team
Great team leaders leverage their influence and power to promote and servetheir teams. (Andy Stanley talks extensively about this.)
A team leader that creates acultureof approachability is a leader worth following.
3. Solid Grip on Reality
In Steve Jobs' biography, the author uses a phrasethatSteve had reality depravation. Leaders who are notin-tune with reality create teams that are unhealthy and frustrated.
Over and over again, leaders talk about and point to relational leaders as being more effective than resultsfirst leaders.It doesn't mean results do not matter because they clearly do. It's how do you lead people to results. Emotional Intelligence is central to thisconversation.
Let's be honest, no one wants to be on a team that they have to guess which mood the leader is in or what today is going to hold because of the inconsistencies of the team leader.
Rorke Denver talked recently about a Commander that gave theirteam one of thegreatest leadership lessons ever while they were in the field.He simply said, "Calm is contagious." So true.
7. Release Ownership/Delegate
Nothing shows the commitment of the team leader more than a leader who is willing to release ownership and delegate important tasks, projects, and relationships. It shows way more than just trust; it shows character and priority.
There is something attractive about leaders who just know who they are and operate with an extensiveselfawareness. I've always said the quicker we can be proud of how God wired us, the quicker we will become the leader he wants us to be.
I'm pretty sure this requires no explanation, but integrity will always be at the top of the list for the greatest leaders in the world.
As much as I wish that all respect comes from relational investments over time with your team, I'll be the first to admit that competency toachieve results is also crucial to this characteristic. You can't lead well without a standard of excellence and a strong skill set for work.