Leaders of high performing teams say what needs happen then rely on the team to get it done.

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." -- Gen. George S. Patton


"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

               -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

On this Independence Day it might be appropriate to recall leadership quotes from some of our past military leaders. It is not surprising that many great civilian leaders that we have known have received their leadership lessons in the US military.

The leadership in the US Armed forces inspires and demands that each person does his or her very best. Now that doesn’t mean that everyone has to have a management style like Patton. Those were his traits. People with totally different traits such as Colon Powell or Norman Schwarzkopf were equally effective leaders.

A great leader does understand what motivates people. If you wish to lead your own team you should understand that as well. A good leader knows the goal and how to motivate the team to achieve it. George Patten understood the goal even in the heat of battle. However, the things that motivated Patton’s troops will not be the things that will motivate a workforce staff. In order to be an effective leader you must understand what motivates your people as well as what motivates you.

Here are 7 key points to remember:

Vision Values Mission

Convey a clear vision. Clearly explain your vision, your goals and objectives as well as those of your organization. A clear vision lets people know what to do.

Leadership begins with the leader. First lead yourself because it begins with the leader. Convey a positive attitude. In order to empower your people to achieve results you must begin by developing positive attitudes toward yourself and your abilities.

Ability to lead is connected to confidence level. Was there a time when you were told you could not do something and yet you did it? Sometimes people are overwhelmed by their own self-doubt. Confident team leaders overcome and overwhelm those self-doubts with their own positive beliefs.

A good leader is a good listener. Good communication is essential for building trust and understanding. In order to understand other people the leader must listen much more than he or she talks.

Lead by example. If you tell your people that they must set goals, manage their time, and measure success you need to be doing that and it must be visible to your team.

Give meaningful feedback. People are most productive and have the best attitudes when they receive a balance for both positive and negative feedback. Remember to catch people doing things right as well as when things are wrong.

Know the difference between authority and power. You may be the manager or boss but you will only receive your power through the trust and respect of your team. A leader has power to help made a team a high performing team.


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