Tips for Team Leadership: Create Top 10 Lists

Posted by Andrea Hopke on Wed, Mar 20, 2013

clearwater_21_days_002As part of our ongoing “21 Days to Accelerate Team Leadership Success” blog series, Day 2 has you focusing on creating 2 separate Top 10 Lists to help you develop your team leadership skills.

In less than 10 minutes today you'll create two lists:

1) The Top 10 attributes you want your team to be known for in the organization

2) The Top 10 qualities your team can count on you for

Top 10 Team Attributes

Think of this as a set of narratives someone will use to describe the brand of your team in the coming months. These are qualities you want to be known for and characteristics that others can see, touch, feel and acknowledge. Go in-depth for big words like Communicate Well or Trustworthy. How does your team “communicate well”? If your team is trustworthy, what is it doing that makes that a true statement?

Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:

  • We are Trusted Advisors in the organization; people reach out to us for our input
  • We are responsive; when an issue arises we are the first to act
  • We are proactive; we take the lead
  • We are accountable; we take responsibility for our actions

Or get expansive: “We are brilliant strategists”, “We are always pushing the edge of the envelope of new ideas”, or “We are the standard bearers of the company”.

You'll be facilitating a conversation at a later date with your team in order to hear their descriptions of the team's brand. Then, voila, you see where you and they are aligned, and start to craft a final statement of the brand that builds on every team member's perspective. This initial exercise is for you to get clear with your own expectations, your own vision of what success looks like.Clearwater_team_leadership

Top 10 Team Leader Qualities (You)

Effective team leadership starts with you, the team leader. What do you want your team to depend on you for? This can also be viewed as your brand list: what you want to be known for. But specifically we're focusing here on what the team can be assured it will always see, get and encounter when working with you.

A few ideas:

  • Collaborating with your team and providing support for them to get needed resources
  • Creating a safe environment so that everyone has an opportunity to share an opinion or lodge a complaint
  • Looking for opportunities for each individual to experience development through training or in the field, mentoring or coaching

Your team will want to hear this list from you sooner rather than later. By making a public statement to them early on, they hear your passion for the work, your commitment to them, a sense of who you are and how best to interact with you. These are keys for successful team leadership. You team needs to know exactly what they can count on you for.

If courage is one of your personal attributes, share your list in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you about what your team depends on the most from you. It is our hope that by sharing what works for you, other team leaders who read this blog post will be inspired.

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Topics: leadership development, high functioning teams, team building and accountability

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