How to build a team of leaders not followers to create success

If you’re building any kind of team or organization, you know that a team is only as strong as its weakest link. How do you fix that? How do you raise and strengthen the quality of your team? And how do you attract leaders not followers?

To raise the quality of your performance and the quality of your team, the best place to start is with a thorough analysis of the situation.

Leaders vs followers

Be honest about your team. Are they leaders, independent thinkers, and high achievers? Or are they followers, afraid to shake things up and worried about what people think? Because unfortunately, the followers are usually too weighed down by their inner self-sabotage.

More importantly, when you’re surrounded by followers, the quality of your team and of your offering begins to suffer. 

How do we find leaders not followers?

The good news is, you can stop that pattern, and start attracting leaders instead of followers. 

Author and speaker John Maxwell describes ‘the law of the lid’ – as the business owner, you are the lid on your own organization. So when it comes to finding team members, people are going to be attracted to a leader who’s stronger than they are.

Think of it on a scale of 1 to 10. So, if you’re a ‘5’ in terms of leadership skills, your team will naturally rate lower. And if you are a stronger leader, your team’s skills will be higher.  

Because you will naturally attract people with slightly weaker leadership skills than yourself. Because everyone is attracted to people who are stronger than they are on their own.

And, you can hear me explain exactly how this works in the accompanying vlog.

Lead yourself first

Look within, and ask, “What have I done to allow weak leadership from myself?” Because before you can lead anyone else, you HAVE to lead yourself. And if you’re allowing weak leadership from yourself, you’re going to attract weak leaders around you. 

Lead from a place of integrity and start by keeping your own commitment to yourself. Get clear on what you want and how you want your team and your offering to look. What’s the one quality you want to have and show to the outside world?

Raise the bar on your own performance; hold yourself accountable. Identify places where you’ve consciously or unconsciously shown weak leadership, and fix that first.

Change how you communicate

Next, change how you communicate with your team, and change how you manage expectations. Leadership patterns follow dialogue, so to attract leaders, you’ll communicate in a different way than if you wanted to attract followers.

Consider your current team – are you clear on what you expect from them and have you written it down? What does your dream team look like? What qualities, characteristics and personality styles do they have? 

We can expect a range of personalities, but in these leaders, what types of character and qualities are you looking for? Once you know the qualities you’re looking for, think about how you expect them to perform, individually and collectively.

Reflect on your communication style

Think about interactions with your team, both recently and in the past. And to help you, here are some things to reflect on:

  • What message did you communicate, both with your words and your actions?
  • Are you clear about the type of people you’re looking for?
  • Do you communicate what you expect from them in terms of performance?
  • What are they going to do individually?
  • What will the team do collectively?

Because if none of these things are clear, this will have a direct impact on team performance and overall impact.

Remember, people rise to the level of expectation that we have for them, so support and encourage them. But don’t simply focus on where things are going wrong; start looking for things to celebrate.

So, look for when they’re doing well and build them up. Show your belief in them and discuss the leadership qualities you’re looking for. Try to notice when they do amazing things that  make them better leaders.

Lead Leaders, not Followers

In order to be a great leader, you have to first be a disciplined, loyal follower. And a great team player. So,you have to be motivated by service – that’s what servant leadership is all about.

Help them see the level of leadership, commitment, loyalty and work ethic that you are expecting from them. And as you start to change your inner dialogue on what you expect from yourself as a leader, and clearly articulate outwardly what you are looking for, you’ll see that performance rise and shine.

Understand the individual

So, as you’re looking to transform from attracting followers to attracting leaders, remember the magic formula to leadership is ‘what’s in it for them?’

Many years ago I was taught a life-changing concept: You may motivate the masses, but you really move people one-on-one. So, speak to each individual in your team and organization based on what drives them personally.

To do this, speak their language. And find out:

  • What’s in it for them?
  • What makes them tick?
  • What makes them shine?
  • What makes them excited about being a part of the team?

So, work to align their passions and talents with the needs of your team. And help them connect the dots to see how a great performance improves the performance of the whole team.

And, it helps them contribute to the ultimate outcome of what they’re looking for in their life and the intrinsic rewards that come with it. This is how you have a team of leaders not followers.

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Chaya Ben-Shabat
Chaya is a mom, entrepreneur, success coach, athlete, student, dreamer, and world traveler.   She is also the founder and CEO of an up-and-coming international school system, designed to revolutionize global education.  She works with highly determined women to help them bust through their obstacles, discover and channel their inner superpowers, and master the tools and skills necessary to design and create the life of their dreams.

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