Secret to success is building a strong team

Posted in Leadership, Mentor Minute

Secret to success is building a strong team

The Globe and Mail, Career Section, Friday November 26, 2010 Mentor Minute>> Quick Career Advice from Expert Katie Bennett

MENTOR MINUTE: Secret to success is building a strong team

The Scenario:

I have recently received a promotion that sees me moving out of a day-to-day project management role, and into a leadership role. What is important for me to keep my eye on to be successful? What new skills do I now need to develop?

The Advice:

It’s likely that for years you have been the go-to person in charge of the project details, and you probably pride yourself on your ability to keep everything under control. Now, it’s time to hand responsibility for details to others and learn the soft skills to build a strong team.

Focus on Relationship Development

Developing strong relationships with your team has likely been a small part of your job to date; it will now become a much bigger factor that will determine your ultimate success. These relationships will need to be built not just in a meeting room, but also in casual settings so you can really get to know the strengths and needs of colleagues.

Help others develop

You now hold some accountability for the success of those you lead. Most people deeply value growth and development and they will be looking to you for assistance. Help them see their possible career path, and how to get there. A lot of new leaders do not recognize how important managing their staffs’ careers is to their own

success. It’s a change of mindset and takes time to develop the skills of a strong mentor.

Put the spot-light on your team

To be a strong leader, remember to consistently shine the spot light on your team. This will enhance your profile with senior managers and customers alike, and will build your team’s confidence and satisfaction because they are getting recognition. Give out ample praise to team members, and highlight their individual contributions. Let them know that you appreciate how they managed their tasks and what skills and strengths they demonstrated that helped contribute to a success for the company.

Manage up

While managing the work of others, remember that you also need to manage up. Keep your boss and top management informed of your successes and also where you may need assistance. Find out what information they want on a regular basis, and give it to them. And while touting your team’s successes, don’t forget to showcase your own when appropriate.

Katie Bennett is a coach and speaker living in Vancouver and is president of Double Black Diamond Coaching and an associate coach for The Ken Blanchard Companies.