2 Powerful Leadership Strategies
In a previous article we looked at communication, adaptability, strategic thinking as ways to become an effective leader.
Now we’re going to add a couple more powerful leadership strategies, namely team building and delegation.
The good thing about leadership is that you can learn the skills to become a great leader.
The thought of leading may make people shudder with fear but learning these skills will give you the confidence to be bold and take the reins and become the leader that you were born to be.
We’ll always reach a higher level of success with a team. Even the self-made millionaires and billionaires out there didn’t do it entirely on their own. Bill Gates is a great example. Yes, he had a great idea when he created Windows — but he had a talented team of programmers, designers, writers, marketers, and administrators to help him launch it.
In this chapter, we’ll talk about why team-building is an essential leadership skill, and how you can recognize the areas where you need help so you can build a powerhouse team of your own.
The Benefits of Building a Strong Team
As hard as you may work and as determined as you may be, you can’t do everything on your own, nor should you. It’s not practical, and it’s not working smarter — it’s working harder.
Consider the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” You might be great at some things, but chances are there are areas in your business that would benefit from outside support.
You might be tempted to try to do everything yourself, telling yourself that you’ll save money. A lot of entrepreneurs make that mistake and it leads to failure. They undervalue their time and energy and underestimate how hard it will be to wear every hat, every day.
Choosing a team means that you’ll have ongoing support within your own customized network. You can delegate tasks — something we’ll talk about later — and have time to do the things you do best. You’ll also be able to enjoy other aspects of life because, let’s face it, you’ll work better if you make time to play, too.
The trick, of course, is building the right team.
Tips for Attracting Team Members and Knowing When You Need Help
You need a team, but where you do you start?
The first step is identifying the key areas where you need help. If you’re building a business, you’ll need to build a brand, create products, design your website, structure mailing lists, attract new clients, service those clients, and so on.
Start by looking at the things you do very well. Maybe you’re a killer salesperson or a master communicator. Those may be things you can do on your own.
Next, look at the things that aren’t in your wheelhouse. Maybe you have very little marketing experience or you’re not great at organization.
The first team members you hire should be the people who can help you with your weaknesses. You’ll have the best chance of success if you use this method.
The next thing you need to do is attract the right team members.
To do that, you’ll need to:
- Write accurate and attractive job descriptions.
- Offer fair payment.
- Place ads to help team members find you or look for them on sites like LinkedIn.
- Interview people.
Make sure that you ask for samples of their work where it’s appropriate and check their references. These days, it’s easy to hire people to work remotely without ever meeting them. You should set up Skype interviews with anyone you don’t plan to meet in person.
It’s also a good idea to impose a probation period on any new hires. That way, you’ll be able to make changes easily if you need to. Just make sure to put everything in writing.
Next, we’ll talk about delegation.
In some ways, delegation is the most important skill of them all. I’ve already touched on some reasons why it’s important not to try to do everything yourself. The key to making that happen is to learn how to delegate effectively.
In this chapter, we’ll talk about why delegation is important and provide some tips to help you delegate the right tasks to the right people.
Why You Shouldn’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
If you want to be a great leader, you need to know how to delegate tasks and — just as importantly — who to delegate them to.
You might have a ton of energy and the will to do everything yourself, but as I said before, it’s not always an effective strategy. Not only will you be shouldering the responsibility for tasks that aren’t in your wheelhouse, but you also run the risk of burning out.
We all need down time — and we all do our best work when we’re focused on what we’re good at and love to do. Delegation allows you to focus your time and energy on the things you’re best it and the things that only you can do.
That means you’ll have more time to lead because you won’t be burned out from trying to do everything.
Tips to Help You Decide What to Delegate to Others
The trick to great delegation is knowing two things:
- Which tasks and jobs can be delegated; and
- Who should handle those tasks.
So, let’s take each of these things in turn, starting with knowing which tasks to delegate. You should delegate:
- Things that your team members excel at
- Things they can be taught to do
- Things that don’t require your personal input
It might be useful to start by identifying the things that only you can do. These may include making strategic decisions about your team or meeting with investors.
Then, make a list of the things you can delegate. Once you’ve got the list, it’s time to think about who the best people are for those jobs. Here are some questions to ask:
- Which team members already have skills that make them suitable for the task?
- Which team members have shown aptitude for core skills, like communication, teamwork, or logic?
- Which team members are eager to learn and willing to take on something new?
Any of these questions can help you identify people who are ready to handle the tasks and responsibilities you’ve identified.
Once you’ve identified the people you need, you should spend some time thinking about the training and support they’ll need to succeed with their delegated tasks. You may need to spend some one-on-one time with them or pay someone else to train them. They may need an outside class or seminar.
Delegate the tasks, and make sure that you communicate clearly and in detail about what you expect from each team member.
Make yourself available to answer questions, and most importantly, keep in mind that they may not get it right on the first try.
There’s a chance that you may need to adapt along the way. You might not pick the best team member for every task on your first try. The key is to keep an open mind, listen, and be patient.
You’ll need all your leadership skills to decide what to delegate, choose the best people for each job, and guide them along the way to success. That’s why I saved delegation for last — because it’s a skill that necessarily incorporates all the others we’ve discussed.
Whatever you want in life will require discipline to achieve and becoming a successful leader is a small part of this. And if you want to know more about harnessing the power of self-discipline, then check out the featured resource below for a free report; download, read it and take action 🙂