Leader: The focus is not ‘You’; it’s your ‘Team’

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”

- Peter Drucker

Being a leader is not easy. Neither is it everyone’s cup of tea; simply because there are certain attributes that are necessary to be a good leader. A leader must know how to manage people – and while leading a team, he needs to keep in mind that he is one of them.

Being on the top can create a feeling of superiority and ego. The focus may drift from the team members to you. Getting the tasks accomplished generally becomes your top most priority and you tend to forget about the team members and their contribution to getting the tasks accomplished.

In many companies, teams fail. People don’t like to work with their bosses. Teams are not united and there exists negativity. Credit swapping is another negative aspect that exists if teams are not managed properly. Here comes the role of the leader. The leader should know exactly who does what and should give importance to every member of the team and appreciate them for their valuable contribution.

Let go of your Ego:

During problem situations, the leader needs to let go of his ego and handle the problem and solve it to the best interests of the team and the task or the goals of the company.

Be a visionary:

A leader always has a vision. This vision should be shared with the team members and they should be actively and passionately involved in achieving the goals of an organization. When team members feel that their work matters and that their work is appreciated they would definitely put in their best.

Practice humility:

Leaders should be humble. In all humility, good leaders recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone.

Leaders who are humble give as much importance to the team members as they give to themselves. It’s about respecting self and respecting others.

Be distinctive:

However, a leader needs to possess individualistic views.  The leader has to “lead” the team and hence his opinions need to be strong in order to be in a commanding and influential position. While employees think that they will grow when the company grows, the leader believes that the company will grow when he grows. Hence, it is necessary to constantly develop yourself as a leader and be able to guide others to follow your footsteps. All said and done, when the leader is sure about what he wants, it will be easier for the team to understand what exactly is expected out of them.

Be fair & just:

Leaders, who consider their team to be important, also are fair to the team members. Fairness means dealing with others justly. A leader must check all the facts and lend an ear to hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence.

When team members feel that they are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with trustworthiness and devotion.

As quoted in the beginning, leaders need to forget the word “I”. It should always be “We”.  It shouldn’t be “I want this done” but “We should make this happen”. It shouldn’t be “I achieved it” but “We made it”. This reflects the team spirit as well as the leader’s qualities of being humble, modest and someone whom people would love to work with!