Before I start, I would like to note that this post is about my thoughts on what is a good leader (nothing based on a particular study or article). It is based on my observation of what I considered good leaders and also what I considered bad leaders. In fact, throughout my career, I realized that I could learn from both types of leaders respectively what to do and what I should never do as a team leader.
Following are simple rules and values that I appreciate in the managers I worked with so far and which I try to apply and tie to as much as I can when I manage a team:
- Forget about hierarchy. It is an old concept.
- Gain the respect of your team not their fear (of eventually loosing their job)
- Be available to spend time out of work with your team (lunches are a very efficient way to strengthen your links with your team members)
- Bear in mind that you are not smarter or more competent than your team. You just have enough experience to facilitate the work of a team
- Convince and do not impose; if you are good enough, convincing your team is the only way to make them take a direction (the one you believe is the best in the circumstances)
- Be honest and transparent with your team.
- Never try to bullshit your team members. They are not stupid and every time you try to do so, you are losing a share of their respect
- Do not try to be a hero. You will be a hero anyway if your team succeeds and delivers
- From your standpoint, your team takes all the credit for successes and you are ultimately responsible of your team failures to deliver
- You work for your team and not the other way around
- NEVER YELL AT YOUR TEAM MEMBERS. NEITHER IN PRIVATE OR, WORSE, IN PUBLIC
- Bashing your team members is the same as someone bashing his kids and family; he does not have values
- Get the right people on the bus.
- Do not hire only people that think like you; hire people that will challenge you. This will help you to grow.
- You must learn from your team. If you believe that you cannot or there is nothing to learn from them, then do an introspection – there is something wrong and more likely with you than with your team –
- Help your team members to grow and be successful
- The best way to make someone do something for you is to give him the desire to do it (Dale C.)
If you think of some other values and/or rules that you believe are essential to be a team leader or team manager. Please share them.