A leader cannot do it all, and the good ones know this. Instead, they surround themselves with teams of people who are strongest where they are weakest and they ask for advice from others. They identify those who can help them the most, develop relationships with them, and put energy into keeping those relationships. Leaders can also set up a mentor relationship with people they look up to. One of the ways leaders compensate for their weaknesses is through cooperation with others and putting together winning teams. To put together winning teams, leaders should follow seven tips:
- Leaders who win surround themselves with people who are stronger and better than they are.
- In the beginning of building a team, the entire focus has to be on development and training.
- Great leaders always get the facts, never assume, and plan a course of strategy in case things go wrong.
- The right assignments are given to the right people.
- Those who are unable to make a positive contribution must be let go.
- Communication needs to be open so that the team can access it from anywhere.
- Everyone on the team needs to commit to excellence.
Leaders need to communicate clearly because 85 percent of their success depends on it. The point of leadership is power and influence which happens through communication. In a truly successful company, all employees understand what they are trying to accomplish and what the plan is for the future. It is important that people like, respect, and value their leaders because they are more apt to listen to leaders they respect and value. Leaders should be able to persuade others to see their point of view and change their minds. Part of communication is listening, and great leaders pay just as much attention to what is not being said as they do to what is said.
In order for individuals to become leaders, they must have people to lead. To do this, leaders must commit to winning. People want to follow someone who will lead them to victory — and victory is the main task of leadership. Great military leaders are excellent role models because their one goal is victory as well. Military strategy can lead to success in any field and is comprised of seven main principles:
- The Principle of the Objective means that the goals of the company must be clear to every employee — there can be no confusion.
- The Principle of the Offensive states that leaders never sit back and wait for something to happen, but instead take control.
- The Principle of the Mass means that the best people and resources are focused on the area on which the company is most likely to win.
- The Principle of Maneuver translates to being flexible and creative.
- The Principle of Intelligence states that leaders gather all the facts and information before they make a decision.
- The Principle of Concerted Action means that everyone on the team has the same goals and same values.
- The Principle of Unity of Command states that there is one leader who is ultimately responsible.
Most people work at only 40 to 50 percent of their capacity, and leaders have to be able to push them beyond their usual performance and get the best out of them. To do this, they have to find out what motivates their employees. There are six specific motivational factors that can turn an average employee into an exceptional one:
- Employees need to be challenged and find interest in their work. A great leader finds work that keeps their employees engaged.
- Employees appreciate open communication and they like to understand how the work they are doing fits the company’s mission. Leaders should explain to employees how their roles affect the company.
- Employees are more likely to take an interest in their tasks when yhey are given responsibility and held accountable.
- Employees want the opportunity to advance and learn more.
- Employees are somewhat motivated by money.
- Working conditions are also important.
Employees also have three emotional needs — dependence,independence, and interdependence. If all of these are met, employees will stay motivated and inspired.
Leaders must also be able to delegate tasks to their employees not only because it gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility, but also because it frees up the leaders to concentrate on high-value tasks. However, it is crucial that the right employees are given the right tasks — their abilities must match the responsibility of the task. If tasks are delegated to the wrong people, it will lead to failure.
Leaders also motivate and inspire by example. Leaders can accept nothing less than the best from themselves and the companies they work for. They must commit 100 percent of themselves to their work. The more excited and enthusiastic leaders are the more excited and enthusiastic their employees will be. Through constant encouragement, leaders empower their employees.