Executive Development is a Team Activity

The fundamental business unit is a team with clear roles, responsibilities and the safety to make mistakes without risking

The importance of a well-run team for business leaders is indisputable and especially important for the non-enterprise leaders (fewer than 500 FTEs) with whom I’ve worked. As LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman said, “You are only as strong as the team you build around you.” Having a well-run team is essential for successful leadership.

3 Key Components to Effective Leadership

First and foremost, leaders should strive to create a culture of collaboration and communication.

A study by the US Small Business Administration showed that teams with strong communication and collaboration skills are twice as likely to meet or exceed their goals. Doubling your effectiveness shows up in cost savings and in profit margins. Leaders must develop effective communication and delegation skills among ALL team members from anywhere, whether working in the office or remotely.
One of the blocks to a highly accountable team is safety. Without an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their ideas, making low risk mistakes (but not repeatedly) and can easily communicate with each other, your people cannot learn and grow their abilities.

In addition to fostering collaboration and communication, providing team members with the necessary resources is also essential.

This includes giving them access to the right tools and training they need to do their jobs efficiently.

According to another Small Business Administration study, small businesses with fewer than 500 employees are more likely to succeed if they invest in their employees. There is a adage where one CEO says to another at a club, “What if I give my people the best tools, the best training, and the best coaching and they leave for a competitor?”

His more successful friend replies, “What happens if you don’t equip them for success and they stay?”

Finally, leaders should convey appreciation to their team members for their hard work and accomplishments.

But here’s the catch – one size does not fit all. You have to take the time to learn the language of appreciation that each of your direct reports wants to receive appreciation. One CEO I worked with thought every one of his direct reports wanted public acknowledgement of their wins. The CEO regularly golfed with the VP of sales and received distorted feedback about how the public appreciation was working. Employees, especially your highest performers, regard accurate highly and it motivates them to continue striving for excellence. A study published by the American Psychological Association found that when employees felt appreciated, they were more likely to exceed expectations and remain with the company. Good leadership reduces turnover.

Having a Well-run Team is Essential for Successful Business

Leaders must strive to create an environment that fosters collaboration and communication, provides team members with the necessary resources, and rewards their efforts. By doing so, small business leaders can ensure their organization is well-positioned to reach its full potential and thrive in the long run.