Reflection is a powerful process whereby we view past events through a new lens. Personally, I go back in time and analyze situations where I stumbled or feel I should have performed at a higher level. And I don’t just reflect on the hand-wringing why-did-I-do-its, I also revisit the successes.
Time after time I conclude that the success of a team, any team, rests with the leader. The leader’s attitude sets the tone for the entire team. And so it’s the leader’s responsibility to visualize what success looks like and then to guide the team to nail desired outcomes.
For a team to arrive at the desired destination, it’s often necessary to achieve milestone victories along the path. So, in business jargon: if the team is able to execute with coordinated effort to reach an immediate objective, it can then continue to the next milestone with vigor and purpose. It’s the leader’s responsibility to:
- Identify the objective,
- Establish pace,
- Measure progress,
- Provide feedback to all members of the team.
If less than optimal performance is accepted and no one is held accountable, poor performance will become the norm. And I can guarantee you, not one of the team members will reflect on the process through a “success” lens.
Leaders who shepherd amazing teams do the following:
- Draw upon varying elements within your team so that the members work cohesively.
- Support each team member and create opportunities and space for them to support each other.
- Provide clarity of vision, motivation and enthusiasm (and enthusiasm doesn’t mean being a cheerleader, if that’s not your style – what’s your version of enthusiasm?).
- Are responsible for roadblocks and share the successes.
Effective leaders are never totally satisfied, but instead continually strive to improve the team’s performance – and their own performance. Additionally, leaders seek to achieve results while increasing the capabilities of individuals and the team as a whole.
Are you a team leader? If you want to have the happy opportunity to reflect on a successful project with positive outcomes, let me know if you’d like to have a conversation about growing your own ability to lead a successful team.