People are human, not just cogs in the business wheel
Behind the computer is a human, not just a resource. As leaders we are pressured ourselves. We have deadlines to meet, budgets to maintain, and problems to solve. Sometimes we forget that as a leader, the oil flows down. If you are feeling pressure, your people are feeling it double. So you want to remember that they are human, not machines. When you get overwhelmed, shield your team from your attitude and discontent as much as you can. Honor them enough to put them first. In most cases, you need your team to mobilize the work whether you are pressured or not.
Walk side by side with your team, not on the top or below them
If you walk on top of your team, they feel oppressed and boxed in. You stifle creativity. Your team may be compliant but they won't perform at their full potential. If you walk below them, who is the leader? Some leaders let the team run themselves. In that case, an informal leader will appear and it won't be you. Honor your team enough to walk side by side with them. Let them know you care enough to get in the game with them when times get rough. Great leaders know when to direct, coach, support, and delegate to the team. In all these ways, your team should know that you are there when they need you to be.
Build leaders, don't just expect good employees
Some leaders are born, but most leaders are made. Great leaders begat great leaders. Don't just focus on making your team highly effective, but focus on creating strong leaders. Try to lead from the notion that all people are leaders. Try to build the capacity in your people to lead. Invest in their professional development, mentor them and give edifying feedback.
Celebrate your team, don't just tolerate them
Your team looks up to you for guidance, tasks, ideas, problem solving, and evaluation. However, did you know your team looks to you for celebration as well? It is important to celebrate your team. When your team feels celebrated they get motivated, energized and inspired. It also builds trust, confidence, and respect for you as the leader, especially if the celebration is public. Give compliments to your team in front of others in the company. Place a nice 'thank you' card on their desks or send a digital 'thank you' card in their emails. Your efforts will go a long way. Your team knows when you only tolerate them. When they feel only tolerated, they don't trust you or each other. Without trust there is no team. So celebrate them often.
90% people, 10% paper
Depending on our working genius, we either like people, processes, or problem solving. However, great leaders know that without the people, processes and problem solving do not exist. Remember when dealing with humans, exchange these Ps for Rs. Relationship building and respect gets results. When you respect people for who they are, it shows. Your team will show up and show out for you. Be an authentic leader and model for them what that looks like, feels like, and sounds like. Instead of trying to mold and shape your team into what you want them to be, honor who they are first and watch their genius rise to the top and get results. Great leaders value and believe in the people they serve.