Qualities of Great Team Leaders (part 5 of 6)
Almost there people. It’s only taken me a month to get to the 5th and 6th qualities on our list. Here’s a reminder of the list of 10 qualities of a great leader:
1. Leverage Influence for the team
3. Solid Grip on Reality
7. Release Ownership
7. Release Ownership
Almost every time I have talked with leaders who have left a job, ministry or team because of the “boss”, they will mention a couple reasons they did not want to stay. At the top of almost every list is the famous phrase, “They micro-managed me”. Let’s talk about that for a minute.
I don’t think people leave their jobs because their direct report was in their business or cared how they did their job. I would argue, it’s because they wouldn’t release ownership to the team. No one really wants to work for a team leader or boss who have nothing to do with their job. Everyone wants to know if they are doing a good job and being successful, but they want to have the freedom to own their areas. Think about it for a minute. Who wants to work for someone who NEVER tells them how they are doing or gives them any direction/vision for what success looks like? It crosses the line when the boss doesn’t trust their team to do their jobs.
Now to stand up the for the team leaders…you need to give them every reason to trust and feel like they can hand it to you. The way I’ve always said it is: “I hired you because you are competent and GREAT at what you do. I want to fight for your health and speak into the process so you know what’s expected. However, you go and kill your job because that’s what I hired you to do!”
Great team leaders not only know how to trust the current team, but they know how to hire great people to make trusting easier. Our teams will never reach their full potential until we let go and allow them to shine.
Team Leaders: What’s the worst that can happen if you let go of something to your team that they are probably better at anyway?
This trait is such a no brainer to me, but I realize it still needs to be addressed. For the past few years when I coach teams and leaders, I usually start by talking about Emotional Intelligence (See Daniel Goleman’s What Makes a Great Leader article). The foundational trait of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is self-awareness. So one of the exercises that I will do with these teams is to have them describe characteristics of leaders with high EQ. Here’s some of the usual answers:
I don’t know about you, but I’ll sign up to do anything where I can have those traits. Self-awareness makes great team leaders because teams want to follow someone who know themselves. Patrick Lencioni talks about how many CEOs he works with that try and hide their weaknesses or personality quirks. He argues you can’t be TOO vulnerable because your team already knows all of those things. When we are not self-aware and open about ourselves, our teams lose trust in us because we are not acting in an authentic way. Plus who wants to work for someone who “Fakes it to Make it”? Not me.
When I meet with leaders, one of the greatest things I believe that God has to say to them in this regard is simple…The quicker you become proud of the unique way that God has created you, the quicker you will become a great leader. I know it’s hard sometimes to look into your life and heart and wiring. But do you think that God messed up with how he created your personality? It is so tempting to look at all people around us and covet that trait and this characteristic. What if God created you in a unique way to use you in a specific purpose? Be yourself.
What assessment or person could you connect with this week to help you become more self-aware?