What makes a great leader?
There are many answers to this question. But primarily, great leadership is about empowering the people around you to bring what they have to offer to the table. Whether you’re leading the board of directors or some other group at your organization, an excellent team works towards a common goal by putting together everyone’s strengths.
The first step is to develop good relationships among your team members and continue to nurture those relationships. Take the initiative and show them how everyone can come together to work towards your nonprofit’s mission.
Remember, the most successful leaders always lead by example, so illustrate your responsibilities to help your team understand your efforts and walk on that path. Along your journey, bear in mind that managing your personal responsibilities is very different from managing a team and that developing qualities for effective team leadership is a conscious effort. Let’s get started.
First and foremost, an effective team thrives on openness and honesty. Openly sharing ideas and opinions with one another helps bring all thoughts to the table.
There are plenty of other qualities that define an effective team, though. For instance, the ideal team:
A team that actively pursues these qualities is one that will lead your organization down the correct path. Now, let’s see how you can build a team that has all of these qualities.
Why is proper team management and leadership important?
Primarily, they provide your team with clarity about their responsibilities, which considerably impacts your mission.
You may think, “Easier said than done!” We agree. That’s precisely why we’ve put together these pointers to help you take action. Here are 9 ways to build effective team leadership.
80% of the U.S. workforce says they feel stressed due to ineffective internal communication.
Trust is an essential component of communication in any relationship. So, it’s important that your team members trust you. Build an atmosphere where transparent communication holds high importance. Ask individuals to share their opinions and discuss the barriers in their way.
Above all, provide an easy way for your team members to reach you. One-on-one meetings are a great way to build relationships with everyone. Discuss roadblocks with individuals in these meetings, so they can overcome them and achieve their goals.
Here is something to keep in mind: Facilitate an atmosphere where your team members are not afraid to admit their mistakes. Listening to their ideas and providing valuable feedback can help. We’ll talk about this more in the coming sections.
Without having your eye on the ball, it’s close to impossible to lead the team in the right direction. When you’re managing a big organization, it’s normal to lose sight of the big picture due to juggling multiple responsibilities.
Defining a clear vision for the organization and the team helps you stay on track. For instance, the Human Rights Campaign focuses on “Equality for everyone.” This helps them focus all their efforts towards this vision
Employees are 2.3 times more likely to be fully engaged with their work if they’re part of a team.
So, how can you encourage employees to feel included?
Tools like Boardable can help you with meeting preparation, collaboration, and team member engagement. With Boardable, you can set up meetings to fit everyone’s schedules, capture key information from meetings, assign follow-up tasks, and more. This helps you avoid bottlenecks and bring the team together.
Similarly, encourage bonding by staying in touch with your team members. A texting tool such as CallHub will help you send personalized messages to your team. It’s a great platform for sharing mass updates, acting as a personal reminder for occasions such as attending a regular team meet-up, inviting your team for internal and external celebrations, and so on.
A good leader always considers each team member’s strengths and weaknesses while delegating tasks. Team members perform best when their tasks align with their skills, their personal goals, and their past experiences. Proper delegation also gives them the confidence to complete assignments effectively.
Also, you must carefully distribute the workload among your team members so nobody feels burned out. Burned out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times more likely to actively seek a different job.
Conducting surveys once a month to understand your team members’ interests and strengths will help you here.
Valuable feedback lets your team know of the areas they’re doing well in and which ones need improvement. This helps them work on a plan for where they’re headed, helps them perform better, and builds trust.
Good leadership gives the same attention to giving feedback as to assigning tasks. According to a survey by Reflektive, 64% of people said reviews give them helpful feedback. This means appreciation and the right direction help your employees perform better, and thereby walk the right path.
Have frequent one-on-one feedback sessions where your sole focus is on helping a team member pave the way forward.
Rather than jumping at the first solution thrown out when a new problem or topic is shared, let your team brainstorm and come up with ideas. And when they do, listen and acknowledge them. When you give them the stage, you’re encouraging them to take ownership, while also helping them sharpen their skills and creativity.
Here are a few ways to help you be a good listener:
By putting some of these methods into practice, your team will see that you’re actively listening to what they have to say, helping them feel valued and inspiring them to continue contributing.
You need to clearly define team goals as soon as you establish a team. Then, regularly create new ones to encourage continuous growth. Arriving at this may take additional time and effort, but this is what paves the way forward. For the best results, align your team members’ individual goals with the organization’s goals.
Define success metrics and assign a lead to drive the team forward. This lead will be your point of contact, and you can guide the lead wherever necessary. Say your goal is to increase your funds by 10%. Your point of contact will work towards achieving this goal by setting smaller goals for individual team members, helping unblock any barriers, and reporting back on progress.
Honest appreciation goes a long way. Keep track of milestones and make sure you acknowledge them in public. This could be as simple as calling them out for their accomplishments in a meeting. You can even go a step further and celebrate large wins with a team party. Whatever you do, make sure your team gets the spotlight.
For example, K12 Knoxville, a community school, puts out employee appreciation posts on social media as a way to express gratitude and give credit to hard-working team members.
A great leader, in addition to delegating tasks effectively, makes sure the team has the resources to execute the assigned tasks. These resources should help your team perform their duties better.
For instance, this could be a set of guidelines and best practices to reach out to your supporters, cold calling tips, texting templates, and more.
Building an effective team is one of the most important responsibilities an organizational leader has. It’s an ongoing effort and thus needs your utmost attention, regardless if you’re leading the board, your development team, or some other key group. Once you set the base by gaining your team’s trust, all your ideas become easy to execute.
Since the world now operates digitally, it is even more important that you make sure your team members are on the same page as you. Communication plays a crucial role in achieving this goal, making investing in communication crucial. Invest in tools that help increase connectivity and eliminate isolation among your team.
Author: Sindhu Prabhu
Sindhu Prabhu is a writer at CallHub, a Voice broadcast, SMS broadcast and call center platform. Sindhu creates content that helps nonprofits, political organizations, and different businesses with their marketing and communication strategies.
Connect with Sindhu on LinkedIn.