When you think of leaders who became fabulously successful you might think of Elon Musk, or Bill Gates or Richard Branson, or Walt Disney, the list could go on forever. Each of us has our own person list of people we admire and wish we could emulate. No matter who is on your personal list it’s important to remember they didn’t achieve their success on their own. Before reaching the top, everyone has help along the way.
Develop leadership skills
If you’re going to lead a team, then you should have strong leadership skills. Not everyone is a born leader, but anyone can learn and (and improve). Ask advice from people you believe are good leaders, take courses, and practice what you learn.
You want the people you work with to be as capable as you. Don’t be afraid of surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you. As Warren Buffet said, “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.
Keep the lines of communication open
You might have great ideas, but you won’t have all the great ideas. Keep the lines of communication open so people feel encouraged to both contribute their ideas and also bring problems to your attention. Let people know their opinions, thoughts and contributions matter.
What is the goal of this endeavor you’ve started? Does everyone on the team know the goal? Are they invested in its accomplishment? A shared vision binds a team, makes it stronger and more focused. It makes achievements toward the goal something that can be celebrated by everyone. This Big Think video discusses Steve Job’s favorite product: The Apple Team
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses
Now that you’ve surrounded yourself with the best people you can find, trust them when they point out areas that aren’t working. Sometimes we get so caught up in what needs to be done, what we believe we can do, we end up losing perspective. You need to be humble enough to recognize the difference between going too far out on a limb and testing a limb’s limits.
Create a positive atmosphere
Sometimes you end up spending more time with the people you work with than your own family. You need to nurture relationships with those people. Praise them when they’ve done something praise worthy. Not just in private but to others as well. Make sure people know how much you appreciate what they do. They’ll want to do even more!