Team Hack #13: Three essentials for team leaders

J. Richard Chase was recently quoted in an article I read as saying: “Aristotle is credited with the concept that leadership requires character, competency and concern for others.” The short but important saying is helpful for all team leaders. In essence, there are three areas we must focus on mastering to successfully lead an effective team.

First, we must get good at being good (character). People are interested in following a person they believe in. They want someone who is living life by moral restraints that make them safe and reliable. They want to count on their leader. The bitterness of giving one’s self to a leader only to be betrayed by horrific character flaws was illustrated in a Presidency not so long ago. Some who ardently defended that President were the very people who were most hurt by his actions and subsequent cover-up.

Get good at doing good (competency). People want to follow a team leader that knows how to produce the desired result. Ineffective and inexperienced leaders frustrate the loyalty of followers. Nothing feels more fruitless than throwing yourself at a task for the team that you can predict will fail because it is stewarded by ineffective leaders. People will not stay engaged in fruitless efforts.

Get good at good giving (concern). People want to make a difference in the world. They hunger to leave a mark and help to fix a problem. When we give our team an opportunity to give to someone and transform the world of one less fortunate, we will immediately see the light in the eyes of each team member. They want to see someone have a better life because of their efforts.