Great companies are built by great leadership teams. As a founder, your core team is monumental to reaching the goals you have for your business. So how can you lead, inspire, and motivate your leadership team to reach their potential and crush it?
- Build Trust – Trust is a core value of high performing teams. According to Stephen Covey, building this value is vital for all leaders: “Trust is confidence born of two dimensions: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, motive, and intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, skills, results, and track record.” This starts by building credibility at the personal level.
When working with your leadership team, you need to get to know them, really know them. We all experience the following at some level: If you don’t know me, how can you care about me? And if don’t care about me, how can I trust you?
- Share a Vision – Establish clarity for each team member on the mission, values and long term values. It’s important that your core team feels connected to these things and engaged in the process so that they are excited and motivated to move forward. This way, they can connect their daily functions with the bigger picture as each team member works to contribute to these goals. Dysfunctional leadership teams run into problems when there is not a shared vision and they have a disjointed approach to the direction the company is headed.
- Establish Cultural Fit – Fit is the glue that keeps your team together. After building trust with one another and sharing a vision, find out if that magic ingredient exists for long term team success. Do you share the same core beliefs, attitudes and behaviors as it relates to your company? How do you work and interact together? Do your work styles complement one another, or do you get frustrated with how things are done (or not done)?
- Communicate – Your teammates can’t read your mind. Communication is key to the performance and effectiveness of any team, and it trickles from the top down. Make sure your leadership has clarity around expectations and time frames, so that can be communicated to others involved for a cohesive organizational flow. Lack of communication is one of the biggest rift factors between team members as it can quickly lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings, so make sure this is a priority! Talk about things AND write them down so everyone can reflect more meaningfully.
- Define Roles & Responsibilities – Chances are (you hope) your core leadership team was formed strategically for the unique talents and skills each person possesses. Allow your team members and yourself to work in the areas you excel and to define each person’s roles and responsibilities. Having this clarity will help your team to delegate appropriately, and understand the gaps of knowledge you need to fill for your business to be successful. It will also help each person own their area of expertise, and discourage one team member from undermining another (which is another problem faced by dysfunctional teams).
By establishing and prioritizing these five points, you will give your team the tools it needs to crush it. So what are you waiting for? Go make it happen!
Written by: Judson Sutherland, Founder & CEO