How to be a great leader and build your best team

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Today, leadership in a corporate environment is so much more than just being able to rake in profits. The new generation of business leaders are embracing a more holistic understanding of the concept of leadership, focusing on getting the best out of their teams for a mutually beneficial relationship.

When it comes to running a successful company, leadership is undoubtedly one of the most important elements in the mix. 52% of companies with quality leadership enjoy an overall enhanced business experience, with increased productivity and service levels that result in higher customer satisfaction scores, ultimately leading to a better financial performance.

Here are some leadership essentials when it comes to inspiring a top-performance team:

Share your vision and goals Every organisation has goals.

These goals need to be analysed and broken down so members of your top team can share the same vision and buy in to management strategies to achieve it. As a leader, you may see prudence in the timing of specific information sharing, yet studies show 82% of people don’t trust business leaders to tell the truth. Transparency builds trust and in the long run, reinforces loyalty.

Be gracious

Perhaps obvious in its simplicity, it’s amazing how far a simple ‘thank you’ can go. Offer praise for jobs well done and decisions well taken. Remember to thank your team for their efforts and diligence, and respect their time by encouraging a culture of prompt, effective communication and a healthy work-life balance. Demonstrate empathy. It isn’t always easy, but a tool worth learning to use wisely.

Communicate effectively

How you communicate is one of the most important considerations when leading a team. Body language and tone of voice, as much as what you actually say, are critical. As a leader you set the precedent for your business heads in terms of how to address your colleagues and teams. Honest, transparent, and authentic communication is central to effective leadership and it affects every type of interaction whether it’s phone calls to overseas partners, face-to-face meetings with customers, or emails to stakeholders.

Facilitate growth

Armed with a complete and thorough understanding of every person within your team, you will be well equipped to help them not only with their respective functions, but also develop their expertise levels. Recognise that each team member brings a unique skill-set to the table – lead them so as to best utilise and grow their existing capabilities, mentoring and coaching to set them up for success.

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Continue learning

Thanks to strategic leadership programmes, 86% of companies are able to successfully respond to changes in the business environment – technological advances, best practices, training programmes and fluctuating cost of living standards – the list is endless. It’s important to hone your leadership skill set to best suit the needs of your team and of your business environment. Knowledge is power and by maintaining an open mind to new ways of understanding your workforce and working with them, you will in turn become a better leader. Leadership skills don’t appear overnight. They need to be understood, embraced, implemented and their outcomes monitored. Don’t wait for the perfect time to make changes, better start today.

By Mike Hoff, Certified Gazelles International Coach and Founder & CEO of MHC

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