A successful leader is keenly aware of his strengths that can propel his team to higher levels of success. The goal is always to exceed expectations. This can be accomplished only when individual team members perform as well as the team as a whole. Team members all need to be performing at the same level to help achieve the team's goals. Effective leadership brings out the team members' individual talents.
Managers take responsibility for their work and are held accountable for the quality of the work delivered by their teams and team members. They don’t pass the buck or blame other people or departments. Even if the team is achieving its target numbers, if one or two individuals are performing below standards, the manager is held responsible for the individual results. It can sometimes be a thankless job; all the credit goes to individuals who perform above expectations, but when some members are performing below expectations, it's the manager who needs to make things right.
Understanding and using employee talents should be tops on every manager's list. Managers whose teams outperform others in the organization understand the significance of maximizing each person's talents. The tendency in many organizations is to spend time on the weaknesses instead of the strengths. Skilled managers know they don’t have 10 customer service reps working on the team, they have 10 individuals who provide customer service. It's the manager's responsibility to determine what the individual employees are good at, the types of jobs they do well and the talents they exhibit naturally.
Clarity of purpose helps allay employees' fears about the future and the unknown. The clarity a manager provides helps make it easier to see the future, the impact the jobs have on customers and the organization’s bottom line. By clarifying the vision and repeating it often and simply, the manager minimizes employees' concerns about what they do and how their work fits into the company's mission. Clarity helps build confidence among the team, which is needed to achieve the team's goals.
A key responsibility of the manager is to be passionate about something the team does and to be unwavering in her optimism about the team and its goals. Even when things are not going smoothly, the team leader must express an optimistic belief that things will improve. Nothing can get in the way of this attitude. Optimism helps to distinguish the manager as a leader and someone whom the team members can respect and become passionate about as well.