"A leader is best when people barely know he exist, when his work is done, aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." Lao Tzu
Leadership isn't about instructing others what to do, but it's all about inspiring & enabling your team to be self-driven & purposeful. A team that is self-driven, always makes a difference. The leader's physical presence doesn't matter much, but how the leader show up do matter. The team mirrors the leader's strengths and weaknesses. If you ever have to have a glimpse of the leader, do look at his/her team. You will get a fair idea about what the leader is in sum total. Ironically, many a times when teams don't perform, becomes unproductive and even operates on instructional mode, the entire blame is put on the team members & their efficiency. But if we can really have an honest reflection, we will see that it actually boils down to the leadership depth, style & overall personality of the leader leading the team. The more matured, agile and receptive the leader is, the more he/she has the ability to lead his/her team from good to great. A peep into the leader's world will reveal a lot about how his/her team functions.
It's interesting to note that all excellent leaders have one thing in common and that is: they formed a team that is self-driven. They don't micro-manage their team but, hold in place such structure that enables the team to not only be self-driven but perform at their highest efficiency. There are many good reads on leadership. I am not going to delve into that. I am just going to point out few things that I have realized speaking with many leaders and following top leaders as to how they form self-driven teams. What do they do differently that others miss out?! Here I am not talking about a normal team but a very matured, highly efficient and top-performing team. Based on my understanding, here are the few things that these leaders do, the core ingredients, their 80/20 principle to form a self-driven team:
1. Setting intentions: These leaders set the intentions of the team very clearly. They do this by connecting one on one with their team members, understanding their aspirations, listening to them deeply and trying to make a match between the team's and individual's aspiration. When intentions are clear, then there is no question of expectation mismatch. Expectations lead to communication gaps while agreements lead to setting clear boundaries. Every member of the team is aware of the intention for which the team is created. The purpose of the team i.e. why it is created, what is it that is to be done and how to be done.
2. Accountability: Each team member is held accountable for his/her role. They are given the guidance, the resources and a high amount of trust is laid on them in terms of their abilities and potential. The strength of each team member is leveraged and the growth areas are identified and accordingly coached upon. There is no one out performing or under performing. Every one performs 100% of their 50% & thus responsible & accountable for what they do.
3. Transparency: In order to form a self-driven team, it is important to have a transparent environment where very authentic & emotionally responsible communications happen. There is no blame-game, nothing to prove but just to perform to the best abilities. Nothing is sourced in fear but compassion & understanding.
These three core ingredients, help forming a self-driven team that not only performs to it's highest potential but creates a culture of creativity, innovation & excellence. The role of a leader is very crucial. Leadership is not just about the title or the position but it's about the being of the leader that nurtures, inspires and elicits the teams' greatness. A leader who has walked the path of mastery on all the bodies: emotional, physical, intellectual & spiritual will have a better agility to form a self-driven, high performing team.
Leaving you with this inquiry: If you are wondering why your team is not self-driven & under performing, then it is high time that you as a leader, have a look at the mirror and be honest with yourself. After all, intention is bigger than the ego, the small mind and the realization is the first step towards any development.
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals