5 Ways Successful Leaders Engage with Their Teams

Listening is one of the superpowers I value the most. I always make an effort to listen 10 x times more than I speak. This provides me with insights on the person in front of me.

This is why, in my work, I spend a lot of time listening to the business leaders I support. As a result, I get to know them very well.

After 14 years of working with leaders and CEOs, I’ve discovered that all successful people have similar habits. In this article, I will share the habits successful leaders I worked with have in common.

I’ve had the opportunity to closely study the traits and habits that great leaders share. I’ve also seen the impact these have in leading their teams and running their businesses.

It’s important to learn from those who have already found the “secret formula” for success. This way, you can avoid some of the trial and error often associated with developing your leadership skills. You will become a more effective leader faster and with less effort.

Most people believe that to achieve great things, you must be extraordinary. Maybe you share this belief as well.

Based on this belief, they spend far too much time thinking about the big idea that will change their lives. This gives them far too little time and interest to look at what successful people actually do.

In other words: people fail to look in the obvious places! They miss the low hanging fruit dangling in front of their eyes.

Successful leaders already have the formula. It is much easier to watch them, learn what they do, and reverse engineer their process.

Would you rather struggle to find the answer yourself or learn from those who already found it before you?

Below are the 5 habits all successful leaders I worked with have in common:

  • They fill the room with experts
  • They never micromanage
  • They coach and empower their team
  • They take responsibility for mistakes
  • They reward good results

Successful leaders fill the room with experts

One of the traits I often see and appreciate in successful leaders is how they value experience and knowledge.

Leaders are usually aware of their own abilities. Real leaders understand that the only way to improve and achieve higher goals in business is to learn from the best in their fields.

Successful leaders are not ego-driven and thus are not concerned that someone else will take their place in the spotlight. This means they are proud to have excellent specialists on their teams. The reason is that they recognize that human resources are a company’s most valuable asset.

All the successful leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working with understand the importance of having the best experts in the room. These leaders make an effort to bring the best around them and keep them there. They build win-win compensation structures that incentivize the experts to go above and beyond. In turn, the experts deliver outstanding results.

Successful leaders never micromanage

Instead of micromanaging, successful leaders delegate effectively and trust their team members’ abilities.

In other words, they hire people they can trust and then delegate authority to them. They then exert control over the process rather than the people. And together with the people these leaders work to improve the process.

Great leaders know that what employees do every minute at work does not matter. Results do! They have an empathic approach and  they relate to their teams. They trust their teams with responsibility. This is why great leaders are appreciated by their teams.

Leaders respect the work of others. They provide clear expectations, process, and feedback. What happens in between is the expert’s responsibility. Leaders have no interest or pleasure in putting down people. They empower talent to work independently and generate optimal results.

This is such an important aspect, that I wrote an entire article on the topic of micromanagement and the negative impact on your business.

Successful leaders coach and empower their team

The only way to take your business to the next level is to surround yourself with people who can take on some of your responsibilities. Because you cannot work in the business forever and expect the company to flourish.

This is something successful leaders know and live by. So here are a few examples of what they do to empower their people:

  • They coach their teams to embrace growth as a value. For a win-win-win outcome. 
  • They support their employees’ growth and celebrate together whenever they reach a milestone.
  • They co-invest in their employee’s growth.
  • They are not driven by fear that the employee might leave once they become better. The reason for this is that great leaders create opportunity driven work environments.
  • They foster a growth mindset throughout the organization.
  • They know when their employees are ready to take on new challenges and empower them to do so.
  • They create a safe environment for those who take on decision-making power. This is so they make mistakes and learn from them.

People who work with successful leaders truly enjoy the environment they create. It makes everyone feel supported and encouraged to reach their full potential!

Successful leaders take responsibility for their mistakes

I’ve never met a true leader who is afraid to admit their mistakes. NEVER. And believe me, I’ve seen a few leaders make mistakes, and I’ve made many myself.

Yes, successful leaders admit to making mistakes. They take immediate action to correct the mistake. Then they make amends with those they have impacted due to their mistake.

Leaders are not only leaders because of their job title, but they are also true role models in the organization. They are the first to accept responsibility for mistakes, and the rest of the team follows.

Furthermore, they always take responsibility for errors made by their employees when dealing with a third party. They never put a team member in an awkward situation. But they always have tough conversations with employees when the situation dictates it. They do not let lack of ownership go by.

Successful leaders reward good results

Every leader I know strives to improve themselves and their teams on a daily basis. They never lose sight of their goals, and as a result, they can sometimes come across as demanding.

At the same time, successful leaders are excellent at rewarding good performance. They are always aware of what is going on in their company, and no extraordinary effort or good result goes unnoticed.

Successful leaders put others in the spotlight when it comes to celebrating results. They never fight for attention with those whom they lead.

They acknowledge each and every team member for their contribution to the success of their company. Successful leaders understand very well that they cannot go far by themselves.

Final thoughts on being a successful leader

Successful leaders possess a unique set of habits and traits that allow them to effectively engage with their teams. They are leading by example. They are humble and empathic. They are the firsts to admit and correct mistakes. They empower those around them.

By adopting successful leaders’ habits, you, as a leader, can also create a positive and productive work environment. One where individuals feel motivated and empowered to help you take your business to the next level.

Remember that leadership is a continuous journey! Learning from those who have already found the “secret formula” for success can significantly help. So, take the time to study successful leaders and improve your leadership style.

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