What it takes to create leaders and lead a winning team


Not everyone is a born leader, but they can become good leaders under sound guidance. Remember, it wasn't the army that helped Alexander achieve greatness but the guidance of Aristotle. Ofcourse, his military achievements were too great to ignore, but it was the tuition given by his teacher during his early days that shaped his thinking and pushed him towards greatness.

Being a leader, it is your duty to take a leaf out of Aristotle’s book and focus on creating leaders who can make big changes the world. Here's how you can pursue this path and build a winning team-

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Criticism won't take you anywhere

You have always been an achiever, and whoever you are today is a result of your hard work. But understand this– your team members are different from you. They may be new to the system and less motivated, but that doesn't mean you should criticise them in front of everyone. Accept them as who they are and then focus on transforming them into who they can be.

Positively reinforce adesired behavior

“On one fine day, a partially deaf boy came home from school carrying a note that his teacher had asked him to handover to his mother. The note suggested that the parents should take the boy out of the school immediately as he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’. The boy's mother read the note in front of the boy and said, 'Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn't have enough good teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself.' And so she did. The boy was Thomas Edison.”

Psychology says when you positivelyreinforce a desired behaviour, people are likely to repeat it. So, focus on everyone's positive traits and try to polish them in such a way that they can grow professionally.

Listen more, talk less

Most managers talk about 'how they handled a particular situation' to motivate their subordinates to handle similar situations. You, on the other hand, should try a more effective and interesting approach. Make your team members talk, know their perspective and then give your inputs to come up with a killer idea. You can win half the race by making them feel confident around you. They'll win the other half themselves.

Give them importance

Nobody likes to be unappreciated and ignored. Your team members are humans and have feelings, so make them feel important in every possible way. Talk to them about their lives outside work, take them to movies once in a while and throw a surprise party on their birthdays or anniversaries. Such acts will strengthen your bond with them and also have positive impacts on their performance at work.

Make them feel safe

Follow Harvey Specter's approach. Motivate them to go the extra mile to achieve the target, but also make them feel safe. They should know that if something goes wrong, you're there to protect them. This will give them a sense of responsibility to act professionally and sensibly.

These few steps will help you create a winning team in the long run without giving up on your own self-growth. Remember, leadership isn't a job, it's a responsibility. It's not about bossing your team members around but guiding them towards a common goal and helping them achieve it.

Give them a little extra credit for their good work, protect them when they've messed something up, help them get out of initial obstacles and make them believe that they can do it. If you can endure these traits, nobody can stop you from leading a winning team.