It is important for leaders to adhere to all the principles of team building. In a sense, they are their own mini-team. Take time when selecting members of your group because they will determine the collective potential the team has. These are very important decisions and should be thought out. If there is dissension in the staff it effects the team as a whole. There must be synergy among the management staff and the same principles of a common goal and vision must be evident. The chemistry within the staff is critical to its’ productiveness. Every leader has their own unique personality.

Each staff member needs to be active, not passive. They each have their own area of expertise and their own strengths and weaknesses. They operate as their own team. They are there because of their abilities, and it is up to you, as the leader to listen to the input and feedback from assistants to best serve the team. Division of leaders will be sensed by others, they will feel confused by it and it could have a detrimental effect on the group.

You must allow your group members to be creative and speak up freely with ideas and input. You hired these people for a reason, so you need to have full trust in them. If you delegate an assignment don’t go back and try to do it yourself, show faith in the person/people you delegated to. You need to share and capitalize on each other’s strengths and build on each other’s ideas. Take a genuine interest in what they have to say. Also, be receptive to the needs of others. As a group leader, think back to when you were an member and the things you liked and didn’t like in relation to the leader you had.

Conflicts among staff usually arise for one of two reasons: 1) they are too much alike; or 2) competition. Many times if they are too much alike; for example, stubborn, it can cause them to butt heads on some issues – neither person wanting to let up. Secondly, there can sometimes be competition, many times control issues are at the heart of this. Assistants need to keep in mind the characteristics they would want in assistants if they were a group leader and act accordingly. Never forget that you are all on the same side, and want the same things for the team.

Keep in mind, excellence in leadership is acquired by people who have a strong sense of vision, have passion and are able to get people to commit 100% and take the necessary action to see that vision become a reality. The skills that great leaders excel in are: the art of communication and motivation, mutual respect, instilling confidence and enthusiasm, and showing credibility and integrity on a stable basis.

Copyright © by Karlene Sugarman, M.A.
Adapted from Chapter 2 of Winning the Mental Way

To obtain your copy of Winning the Mental Way, contact Step Up Publishing at 650-347-0826 or you can e-mail Karlene.

Karlene Sugarman, M.A., received her B.A. from St. Mary’s College in 1991 and her M.A. in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 1993. She has worked with numerous schools, organizations, clubs and businesses teaching team building and mental training. She is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sports Psychology (AAASP) and a member of the Sports Science Committee for the U.S. Tennis Association. She has written articles for many magazines.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know those of your team members? A 360 Degree Feedback survey will help you and your team members gain the insight you need to become more effective. Survey Tools for Windows is a software package that will help you create professional 360 degree feedback surveys, collect the data, and analyze the results.