Ships Need Captains

If your venture stands a chance of becoming truly, absolutely awesome then it will be through stellar leadership and not managerial acumen. Having great leaders in your team can help you change the world.

With vision there will be no stopping you. Supersize it. The bigger, the more ambitious, the more outlandish, the better. Ambitious leaders need to sell the challenge, frame it in reality, tell it how it is and sell it like it isn’t. Make it crazily ambitious, whilst simultaneously making it almost within reach. They need to encourage their team to believe in it, and concurrently ensure they are rabidly hungry to achieve it. Unless it gives everyone goosebumps go back to the drawing board.

If you want your team to really rumble you’ll need to recognize their efforts. Explicitly and frequently. Leave your heartfelt praise and encouragement ringing in their ears and the impact can be off the charts. If someone kicks a goal, celebrate it. Whoop it up. And chances are they’ll kick a little harder, further and faster next time.

The more time you give your team, you get more. The team will be inspired to go the extra mile for you if you put in the miles for them. Spend time on your team and see the difference.

Protect your team at all costs and be their safety net. Be a buffer. Take the heat, take the hit, take the fall, do whatever it takes. The buck stops with you. Team performs when they feel comfortable, safe and secure. When they know their leader is looking out for them. When they know their leader will stand up for them and protect them if something goes wrong. Your team is your business, your growth and your future, look out for it.

Your hiring decisions will define your team and they will define you. Unless you add amazing people to your team, you are going to spend a hell of a lot of time trying to get average people to consistently make great decisions. Beware adding poor people to a finely tuned team has a massive effect on that team’s morale and on their performance. Teams tend to operate at, or close to, the ability level of the weakest team member.

Great leaders have a knack of adding exceptional people to their teams. Companies live and die by how good their hiring decisions are. Hire too many idiots and you will become one yourself.

As a great leader, take complete ownership. Poor decisions made by people within your team are a wake up call and a reflection of your own ability, or should I say inability, as a leader. Whatever happens good, bag or ugly, it is a direct consequence of your leadership.

Leaders are rare inspirational beings. True leaders are exceptional and their impact can be stratospheric.

Hold fast and keep the faith.

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