Leaders play a critical role in managing a team and are essential in achieving your vision for your company and setting the tone for your employees. They guide and give feedback to all team members to ensure that they perform their responsibilities. Successful team leaders keep team morale healthy and inspire employees to perform well.

Here are a handful of management responsibilities team leaders need to own as we head into a new year.

Set goals, plan and execute

The objectives set must be achievable, specific and challenging. Team leaders must also communicate objectives inside the team clearly. While being flexible enough to pivot under changing market dynamics, the planning phase needs to provide structure.

Execution and transparency come after target setting and planning. The team leader has to ensure the completion of each objective and goal.

When it comes to protecting the team’s brand, it’s more important than ever. Remember, the brand goes way beyond the logo. It’s mirrored in all that’s related to your team, including every conversation, clothing and each team member’s attitude during every interaction.

Negotiate resources, roles and autonomy

Team leaders need to organize staff activities. Organizing each member’s tasks and focus areas helps ensure that all the team’s efforts are directed toward a common goal. Every individual must feel responsible and mindful of the collective objective. They also must own their individual role and contribution to the team.

Each person needs to have the resources and autonomy to accomplish his or her objectives. If you find yourself not trusting someone with that authority, you’ve either made a bad hire or have a control issue. Either of those problems will stunt your growth and hamper your efficiency.

Select and empower those on their team

By selecting and empowering people, team leaders can grow their team exponentially. We invest a great deal of time in the recruitment concept as an industry. In most cases, I have found teams set the bar too low in qualifying whom they take on.

When team members are selected, leaders must detect where the person’s strengths are and how to use them effectively. For Inman readers, we have an assessment that you can use at no cost. Shoot me a message, and I’ll be happy to share it.

To inspire the team members, you need to make them feel like an integral part of the overall group. Continually reinforce why they are essential. Look for ways to express appreciation and regularly praise them for their contributions.

Accolades are, without a doubt, more important than compensation for most people.

In the business world, the tendency of many leaders is to focus on the negative. This leads team members to work with less intensity, complain about trivial problems and resist positive change.

On the contrary, the leaders who bring positive attitudes increase the inclination of individual team members not only to improve but to also help their teammates.

Manage relationships

Any leader’s primary responsibility, regardless of how large or small the organization or team, is to make everyone feel great about the team, including clients, team members, other agents in the field and the public.

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to appeal on a human level by presenting suggestions, discussing strategies and procedures, defining the team’s work and being respectful of others. Your team has become an extension of you. The more you take care of them, the more care they can give to your clients.

In summary, the role of leadership and management might function in different capacities but still be the same in creating an organization. Leadership is nothing if it doesn’t create a systems-based management framework, and management will have little help without the work of leadership as the backbone of values.

Chris Pollinger, partner, Berman & Pollinger, LLC is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, culture building, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting, and team building. 

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