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Five things a leader should do to get the best out of their team

October 7, 2011

In the numerous obituaries that have been published for Steve Jobs, the word visionary seems to be the most quoted adjective in an attempt to define his leadership style.

Image of Steve  Jobs

Steve Jobs always had a vision, even in the early days, and he knew how to inspire people with it.

There’s no doubt that teams need their leader to be clear about what they are aiming for, but it takes more than a vision to get the best from a team in the long term.  So here are five things a leader should do to get the best out of their team:

  1. Recognition – Team members need to know how they are doing. No one is immune to the power of praise, so find ways to catch your people doing things right.
  2. Correction – For praise to be truly effective it must be balanced with correction. Don’t leave reprimands for the annual review; deal with issues immediately, sensitively and in private.
  3. Listening – Great leaders don’t tell, they ask questions, then probe the answers, seeking first to understand before making themselves understood.
  4. Networking – Beyond the team will be relationships that, if fostered, will smooth the way for your group to succeed. Leaders must be ambassadors for their team.
  5. Vision – As the proverb says “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.” A shared goal is what turns a group of individuals into a team and only the leader can cast the vision – what’s yours?

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