Chances are, your professional team is not working up to its full potential and because of this both valuable time and talent are being wasted. In a way, your team is your most valuable investment and it’s no surprise you want to get all the return imaginable. But don’t let these thoughts frighten you; there are, in fact, changes you can make regarding your leadership strategy to help unearth your team’s true potential. As you’ll see, effective leadership is the most important factor in motivating your team and having them perform to the best of their abilities.
Be your ideal employee
What traits do you value most in your team members? Is it confidence? Ingenuity? Interpersonal skills? The old adage “lead by example” has never been more relevant than in the corporate workplace. How can you expect your employees to exhibit certain professional qualities if you don’t demonstrate them yourself? If it’s more passion for the work that you want from your team, show them how passionate you are. Want to encourage better communication? It all starts with you. Work on improving your own communication skills and implement new policies to keep everyone in the loop. Exhibiting in yourself what you expect from your team will go a long way towards unlocking their potential and creating an environment of mutual respect.
Give them the tools they need to succeed and hold them accountable
Part of being an effective leader is providing your team with the necessary tools to perform the job successfully. Without the appropriate knowledge, training, and on-the-job coaching your team can only go as far as they can go on their own. However, with your help, they can accomplish goals far beyond their initial reach. Providing adequate training up front, on-going mentorship, or even programs like business process management software can greatly steer your team in the direction of their highest potential.
Once your team possesses the critical tools, hold them accountable for their work. Accountability is an underrated secret weapon in the workplace. When your employees are held accountable for their work, they won’t stop at “good enough,” but will instead present to you a high quality end result, something they are proud to put their own names on.
Empower your team
Above all else, empowering your team members is the key to effectively leading them towards their greatest potential. While supporting their independence will not only increase their passion for the work, you may also be surprised by their ingenuity. They now have the tools, let them utilize them. Trusting your employees will initiate their trust in you as well and feeling like they are playing a major part in the operations of the company will strengthen their loyalty and enthusiasm for the job. A passionate worker is a worker who gives his or her all, all the time.
When your team feels that they are being led by someone they trust and respect, they will strive to give it all they’ve got. Given all the right tools to succeed and the independence to showcase what they can do, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. Unlocking your team’s full potential will provide you with the best quality results and this is best accomplished through effective leadership.
The Product Management Perspective: As the product manager you are the leader on your team. The team you work with is the key to releasing successful products. As you set the example, provide them with direction and hold them (and yourself) accountable, the results will speak for themselves.