A great team leader is only as great as his or her team. So what do you need to reach your leadership potential? It’s a combination of finding the right people, setting clear goals and holding everyone (including yourself) accountable.
Here are seven areas to focus on if you want to be a great team leader.
1. Find someone who will hold you accountable
For me, it started with finding and training an administrator I could trust. This person needed to have the ability to learn and provide the upside to train and teach others.
Someone who can know what to do without being asked. When I first hired an assistant, my career changed. I was accountable to someone, and I was forced to put systems in place to build my business.
2. Hire people who think differently than you
As I tried to figure out how to build a team, I thought I just wanted a couple of people like me. Funny how you think you know what’s best until you see what is.
As I started putting my team together, I realized I didn’t need three copies of me. I needed three teammates that brought unique experiences, backgrounds and perspectives to help me grow and learn.
A good leader wants varying opinions and out-of-the-box thinking. I want my teammates to express themselves and be willing to adjust to a different way of thinking.
Our customers are not all the same, so why should I have a team that is? My greatest asset as a team leader is being able to be a part of the team without having to be the leader all the time. I want to prepare my teammates to be able to run the team or one day run their own.
3. Learn how to motivate your teammates
As a team leader, you have to understand what makes the team click and what motivates them. There is no generalization of what is right or wrong. You must listen and find out what drives someone to help them step out of their comfort zone and be a stronger team member.
Some team members are motivated by winning, some by financial gain, some by more time off, and some want encouragement and the feeling that their team leader cares.
Again, train and motivate your team as if you are trying to get them to the point that they could lead on their own.
4. Placement is key
On my team, I have a former Golf Channel marketing genius, an insurance manager, a Navy vet, a general contractor, a golf course superintendent, a special needs teacher, a retail sales manager and an assistant to an accounting office.
With different backgrounds, it’s about understanding where to place our team members to get the best results. Now you can better decide who to delegate specific goals.
A great team leader will know precisely who to task with what. Having a team and not utilizing the team’s strengths is a team leader’s fail. Embrace the differences.
5. Follow up with your team and hold everyone to their goals
Be accountable for your time as a team leader, and be available for everything the team might throw at you. You do not need an answer for every problem, but you should be available to listen. It is essential to follow up with a team member to see how they ended up handling the situation.
6. Make sure everyone is involved in any major team movement
Talk to the team and ask for their perspective and opinion of changes that could affect them directly or the team. I think the team must be involved with growth and or dissolving part of the team.
Brand or brokerage changes should be carefully vetted and discussed with everyone to make sure it’s a team move. Being transparent is the key. If you are part of a team, then it’s crucial all teammates should know plays.
7. Align yourself with a brand that understands teams
Last but not least, this might be the most important part of the process because if your brokerage doesn’t understand how a team works, the communication challenges will be detrimental.
Talk to other teams and see how it works with their brand, and make sure it’s the right fit for everyone. This is so important for training, commissions, support and overall broker guidance.
I’m thankful to be a part of a real estate team. When I have a challenging workday or an amazing workday, there is no one I would rather experience this with than my team. I understand our team chose me to lead and without them, I wouldn’t have that opportunity.