Why Leaders Need To Place More Trust In Their Team Members

The hardest part of having a vision is letting other people make your idea their own. When you have a goal set for your team, your mind automatically begins piecing together a plan for how you are going to achieve that goal. 

In order to be a truly effective leader, you need to be able to trust the members of your team with some of the details you may have grown used to controlling.  Whether your team is assembled for one project or many, the key to success and growth as a team is a leader who knows how to let their team work to their strengths, while still keeping in line with the long term goals of the group.  

Maintain The Course

A ship cannot be controlled entirely by its captain.  It requires a crew of individuals who understand their unique positions, know how to react independently in different situations, and know when to come to their leader for help.  At the same time, a crew cannot successfully go very far without someone ensuring that all the positions are filled, and that the crew is productively working towards achieving the team goal.

Your job isn’t to tell your team how to do their job, but instead to help them to understand their portion of the project as best they can.  Everyone has his or her own unique style and strengths. If you can allow them to utilize their own style and put their strengths towards the group goal, your team will produce better work and it will reflect positively on you as a leader.

An example of this can be a team planning a fundraiser for a non-profit organization.  The leader of the team is responsible for making sure all the parts fit together.  One person may have experience with booking spaces, and another may have an understanding of how to plan and organize the stage events for the night.  You and the members of your team will each have something they can contribute.  What you need to do is let them work, but ensure they have the resources they need to stay on schedule.

Patching Up Holes

No team is perfect.  Everyone has his or her own unique abilities, but no one person is capable of doing everything.  At the same time, you will find your team is lacking in certain skills that would be of great use to you in achieving the team goal.  As the leader, you are responsible for helping ensure these areas do not cause a significant hindrance to your progress, but that doesn’t mean you should take on the hardest work for yourself.  Often times your teammates will appreciate the opportunity to further develop their skills in different areas and your willingness to place trust in them.  You must help guide them and encourage them to become competent individuals in various fields in order for the team to progress.

As the team leader, you need to make sure that everyone has their own tasks to complete, but also that no one is feeling overwhelmed.  Ambition and drive are essential qualities in any leader, but you need to appreciate that quantity of work can negatively effect the quality.  Be sure to avoid taking on too much work for your team to handle.  Feeling overwhelmed by having too much to focus on can lead to frustration and aggravation, which will only inhibit your ability to achieve the team goal.  

Facilitate Cooperation

The members of your team are looking to you, as leader, to facilitate cooperation.  They want a leader who is going to ensure everyone has a voice, and that everyone knows the expectations.  Listening to your team’s concerns and suggestions will help ensure that you are staying on track with your position as leader.  When your team looses focus, seems to no longer care about finishing the project, or feel they no longer understand what they are working towards, it will be up to you to bring them all back.  Ask your team members to exhibit their work.  Try to find out what aspects of the project excite them and see if you can keep those in focus.  Obviously work is never 100% fun, but your team will tackle those with more fervor if they feel a sense of involvement and pride in the project.

Many successful leaders prefer to consolidate most of the authority in a group.  This is a fine strategy. However, not every team is going to mesh well with this.  Many leaders may find that their own productivity, along with the groups, improves when they are able to place trust in their team and allow them to use their own individual strengths achieve the groups unified end goal.