I recently read an article about the characteristics that high performing teams share. After reading the article, I reflected on my 35 years in the contact center industry. I have seen and led many teams over the years …. Some great, some good and some not-so-good! What became very evident to me was that the great teams I have witnessed all had one thing in common – an effective leader! As John Maxwell attests, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
Effective leaders foster collaboration, value diversity, build trust, value people, empower their team and enjoy the journey. They focus on the process, not the destination. When this happens, great results follow!!
Here are some things that leaders must do to be effective:
Establish, document and discuss clear expectations and goals
Effective leaders ensure that each team member knows what is expected, what good behavior looks like and why “what they do” is important. They tie the individual’s contributions into the company’s vision. Everyone wants to be a part of something that is bigger than just themselves! Our vision? To make a remarkable difference for our people, our customers and within our communities.
Maintain open, active and consistent communication
This is critical, people want to be informed. They want to know how they are doing, how Etech is doing and what can be done better. Effective communication includes being an active listener. Everyone likes to believe that their input matters. A final comment on communication – don’t restrict effective communication to just your team but demonstrate this behavior with your customers, suppliers, your leader. Remember – customer and suppliers are both external and internal.
Value diversity by including everyone
An effective leader recognizes the value that each team member brings to the table. He encourages each to contribute ideas, methods and opinions, even if they differ from his own. He refuses to allow clichés or silos to develop but strives to demonstrate what being inclusive looks like. At the end of the day, it is important to the leader that each and every one of their team members feels valued.
Create a culture on trust and integrity
Effective leaders do what they say they are going to do, every time …. Even when nobody is watching. Effective leaders build trust through delegation. They are first to recognize the team and team members for great accomplishments, and they are first to accept accountability when things don’t go as well. Make no mistake, one of the best tools you can have is a great culture. As the saying goes, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast every time!”
Lead with a servant’s heart
While I have learned, taught, experienced and practiced various leadership/management styles over the years, I have come to fully embrace the fact that servant leadership changes lives. Servant leaders selflessly develop others – and not just in the workplace; their teams deliver better and more consistent results; they focus on the process, not just the scoreboard; they embrace, enjoy and learn from each person and each moment along the journey; and they truly make the world a better place.
In closing, please understand Servant leadership is many things but one thing it is not is soft. Servant leaders set high expectations for themselves, as well as others, and they hold everyone accountable. There are many kinds of leaders, but when it comes to describing servant leadership there are really only two: those who serve themselves and those who serve others.
Will you join me in serving people, each other, customers, and communities? I hope you do!!
Until next time, may you make a remarkable difference in the lives of people you touch each day.
This blog was earlier published on LinkedIn.