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Practice Management > Building Your Business > Leadership

How to Build a Team

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Managers know what to do leaders inspire people to do it. The person who gets results through others is the one who is a leader, not a driver. Having people on your staff who “want” to do the things necessary to win is the consequence of leadership.

People often do things reluctantly when they feel forced into it. For a leader, someone who creates a culture of inclusion, expectation of excellence and appreciation, people will do their jobs enthusiastically and then some. Creating this type of work environment is much more a skilled and subtle process than “selling” your staff on an idea or process.

(Related: Leadership Is Not a Birthright… and It Shows)

This type of culture in the workplace takes a leader who has studied his people, their motives and attitudes, which become these leaders’ tools to help lead people to accomplishment. For many, security is the main drive to grow in their work and they are engaged when their work is viewed as important and they feel that their contribution matters.

A well timed praise spurs many to new heights of effectiveness, while this might only inflate another worker, he might respond better to constructive criticism. And then another individual may wilt under any kind of criticism; some other factor may be needed to lite the spark in him, this is the tool a capable leader hunts for in his staff.

People’s motives and attitudes are often conditioned by personal history and events occurring in their home life. Effective leaders know their people, their worries, personalities, touchy points and prides; they understand why they tick and what stirs them on. He encourages his staff to talk, he uses active listening, a good listener does this best; a “teller” encourages his staff only to be silent because the “talker” is hearing his own voice. A leader does not dominate a conversation or a meeting, unless for a good reason.

An effective leader recognizes his team in public and reproves his staff in private. When he does criticize a staff member he comments on the method (job performance) not the motive (the person or personality, unless germane to the job.) He praises first then corrects, even though his staff know this is his style a leader does treats his staff with respect at all times.

Praise is always done in public; this builds strong, hard-working, loyal teams. A leader puts himself in his staffs role before making decisions which affect them. He understands they have tough problems of their own, both business and personal. He believes they have pride and self-respect and that he will get more effective results by treating those characteristics as assets.

— Read Retirement Planning Made Simpleon ThinkAdvisor.

Lloyd Lofton (Photo: Lofton)

Lloyd Lofton started with John Hancock in 1977. He is the author of “The Sidewalk Executive” and “Leads to Results,” the founder of Power Behind the Sales, and managing partner of 7 Figure Sales Tools, a sales and leadership coaching and training company.


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