I lead a team of gifted people. I rely on them, trust their instincts and value their opinions. They provide an exceptional level of work and advance the organisation as a whole. But as with any sound relationship, it works both ways. As you’re getting, you should fully and authentically give in return. Managers generally mistake their position of leadership with a license to demand unrequitedly. To the contrary.

As a boss, you are the enabler and the tone setter for your team. And if you can achieve to make your people motivated and feeling appreciated, then you’re on to something great together. A team culture will always feed into a larger corporate culture, but it will also tend to reflect something about you as an individual. So that different managers in a same company will surely lead differently.

Building a successful team is more than just assembling the right individuals as a group, it’s infusing a core set of values and beliefs that will rally you around a common identity. The culture that you live by example will become your framework as a team. It will be known as the terms on which you will interact and collaborate as a group. For instance, my personal values are the ones I tend to cultivate in my group. Reliability: how much can I rely on you to perform and how much can you count on me to support you? Trust: how much room do I give you to succeed and are you confident in the direction that I set? Integrity: do you come from a place of good faith and do you know I intend to do you right?

If you have been expecting more from your team, or if you are managing a team for the first time, start with asking yourself on what principles you live by.

Ask yourself: “Do I provide …”

  1. Purpose. From the most junior to the most senior people you’ll have the privilege to manage, everyone wants to work towards/or for something. The purpose will be both corporate and personal and you’ll have to understand and facilitate for both (when aligned.)
  2. Trust. There is nothing more powerful and encouraging than feeling your decisions validated and feeling empowered to act. If all things are well, this trust should feel organic.
  3. The (right) space to shine. Each team member should have the freedom to try, learn and grow. Even at a smaller scale, and as much as you can, make other responsible for their own projects. They should be both accountable and praised for their delivery when things turn right. Equally don’t fear failures. They are sometimes the fastest way to learn. As a team lead you are trusted by an organisation to grow others. So allow this process to happen. Make people shine and trust that at the same time, you will equally grow and learn something about yourself.

I genuinely believe that success starts with a healthy team culture, and respectful reciprocal relationships. You will find that your greatest sense of pride and your success as a group will come from providing the right environment in which ideas can materialize, providing your wholehearted support, and the mentoring that they need for them to achieve their upmost best.

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my organisation.

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