Moving from Team Member to Team Leader

Leadership Thought
The best leaders leaders are people-centric.

Are you looking to move from an individual team member to an effective leader?

You must shift from task-centric and knowledge-centric as a team member to people-centric as a team leader.

You must be people-centric to be a great leader regardless of your industry, function, or other aspects of your role. I offer three people-centric actions to help you make the transition.

1. Recognize people as individuals

The people you lead aren’t just warm bodies in a cubicle maze or interchangeable parts in a machine. They are individuals, each with unique capabilities, hopes, dreams, and a wide range of other characteristics that make up the human experience. Your people want to be recognized as individuals. You should know what matters to each of your team members.

It would be best if you understood what motivates each person. Don’t assume you know; ask. You might be surprised by their answers.

2. Invite people to participate in something bigger than themselves

The best leaders invite their people to participate. They ask them for their input, solicit how best to accomplish work, and encourage team members to track and talk about work progress openly. Along the way, the team members build something together that they could not do on their own.

3. Create positive-memorable experiences

Think about a great team you have been part of – you likely worked hard, accomplished things that truly mattered, forged enduring relationships, and created a few memories. Ten years from now, your people won’t remember the specific goal your team is working on today. They won’t recall how many items were sold, how much revenue was generated, what costs were cut, etc.

However, they will remember what it feels like to work for you. They will remember what it was like to be on your team. Make their efforts a positive-memorable experience.

Make it a great day! Patrick