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Be the Kind of Leader People WANT to Follow

The topic of effective leadership has been written about in a myriad of different ways over the years. A quick web search of ‘leadership books’ turned up works as diverse as a compilation of Winston Churchill’s best speeches to advice from elite sport coaches and from amazing stories of human survival to stories about the rise of successful companies like Starbucks. To add a bit of confusion to the mix, many authors have explored various leadership styles – from ‘pacesetting’ to ‘affiliative’ and ‘authoritative’ to ‘democratic’. So, if you are seeking information that will help you develop your leadership abilities, you could be forgiven for not having a clue where to start!  Over the course of my 28 years in the business world, I have had the opportunity to try out multiple concepts and leadership styles for myself and have come around to what I believe is a sensible plan to develop my own leadership ability. Because, as leadership guru John Maxwell says, being a leader is being able to INFLUENCE others effectively.

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The Power of World-Class Teamwork

Leading a team of unique individuals can be as challenging as it is rewarding; however, it is through the work of everyone that we can accomplish great things. “1” is simply too small a number to achieve greater levels of success.

As someone who has worked alone AND led a large team of people at different points in my life, I can say without a doubt that there is something rewarding about leading a strong team who are putting in their best effort every day. That’s not to say it’s easy! I’ve had my fair share of ‘robust conversations’ with team members for one reason or another. But at the end of the day, it’s not our job as leaders to be friends with our team. We lead so that we can stretch people, help them grow and develop and ultimately accomplish big picture business/practice objectives.

In this article, I’ll share just a few snippets with you from a ½ day workshop we facilitate called ‘the 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork.’ Both Craig Yarndley and I are Certified Leadership Coaches with the international John Maxwell Team and, as such, we have access to really unique learning tools like the 17 Laws.

Now – whether or not you like the Rolling Stones, their longevity as a band is legendary! How have they managed to stay together, stay relevant and remain popular for 5 decades? TEAMWORK. They understand that you need to define a shared approach to working together, and you need to practice it over and over until it becomes second nature.

In Africa, there is a concept known as Ubuntu.  Loosely translated it means ‘I am…because we are.’ How beautiful is that?!? Every person is inter-dependent upon others.

The first law I want to share with you today is ‘The Law of the Big Picture’. Simply stated, if we don’t see the big picture as a team or value it, we won’t be an effective, high-performing team in the long term. We won’t have staying power. The key as the leader of your team is to regularly share the vision and overall goals with them. That means that YOU must first be crystal clear on the big picture of what the team needs to accomplish and then involve your team in seeing and embracing those goals with you.

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We, as leaders, need to always be considering how we do things just that much better when it comes to interacting with our prospects and clients. The downloadable worksheet to the right will help you identify the many touchpoints your prospects (and clients) encounter when they deal with you and your team. Each touchpoint is an opportunity to tweak how you work and interact so that you strengthen you brand, your client experience and your business.