Become a World-Class Team Leader in 2018

February 14, 2018

Every leader has its own style, no question about it. Each one has a personal and thus different style of motivating and guiding people. However, one thing they do have in common: the goal is to find the way of working and communicating that works best for both them and their team.

Anything new on the 2018 horizon?

Well, as you might presume, we do have a bunch of advice for you regarding this matter.

The only way is up, and that is old news for this year. We’ll concentrate on constructive and useful inputs.

Let’s start with what is expected these days from a team leader.

There is a huge U-turn in this field as the old school skills are not so desirable anymore. The accent is now put on the soft side of every human, as we all belong to that very species.

Become a World-Class Team Leader in 2018

In this modern world, a true leader will need to know (or learn) to inspire, motivate and empower his team. He will need to take to perfection his ability to listen and understand the needs of his employee. Each message he sends, no matter if it’s virtual or in person, is pretty much imperative for a positive and productive atmosphere. And, this is why leaders must act in a highly communicative and transparent manner.

Leadership has nothing to do with a charm or charisma. It has everything to do with trend-watching and acting accordingly.

Here are some trends for 2018 you should better follow. Starting today.

Fit into a new generation of team leaders.
No matter how old you are. What will win the final race this year is innovative thinking and empathy. Yeah, that’s right, you read it well.

Become a World-Class Team Leader in 2018

Forget everything you have been taught. Dismiss from your mind that, now so old-fashioned, thought that the winner takes it all, the loser standing small. There is no loser or a winner. It’s all about the team. A new kind of complex, multi-team environments that are made up of hybrid/virtual teams. For handling this kind of compound, a good leader should be orientated towards the global and multi-cultural point of view.

Once you dig in this new game, you need to start feeling completely and naturally comfortable playing the role of a team leader in the not-so-conventional working environment. For instance, you will most probably be in charge of different teams, some present and some through any communication channel you choose. And that is not all. You will be the only one responsible for creating a highly-effective team that balance performance with employee well-being.

And, for that, you will be needing some skills…

Master both essential and highly innovative technical skills
No need to explain the rapid advancements in technology and the way they are influencing our work style, whether we like it or not. Did you know that 47 percent of managers don’t receive any training when they take a new leadership role?
When your position changes from “expert” to “leading expert”, there is so much you need to catch up so you don’t get the case of a lack of knowledge transfer.
We suggest you go one step ahead and embrace what will soon become a regular office “thing”.

Become a World-Class Team Leader in 2018

More than 300m wearable devices were given out by companies in 2017 and, no doubt that the figure will only rise to more than 500m by 2021, according to ABI Research.

Wearables have it all. From sensors tracking the time staff spend at their desks to software that takes screen grabs capturing in real time how they work… Sounds much like a Big Brother but it is so much more than simply spying on your staff.

First ones to adopt this type of physiolytics (wearable technologies that take one or more piece of technology for analytical purposes, generally in the area of human movement) are health care, the military, and the industrial sector.

What hides behind this kind of analysis?

Hides a constructive intention to raise productivity and improve organizational performance. All while taking care of health and personal safety of the employee.

How on Earth?

For example, thanks to its fatigue-monitoring sensors, that can notice when a head or body slumps, a management (together with an employee, of course) can be provided with this precious information. Just think how this could be lifesaving when it comes to backhoe drivers or other equipment operators. As a matter of fact, we don’t need to go that far. This could come very handy at the office as well. Everybody remembers a copywriter in Jakarta, who died of exhaustion at her workplace, right? Well, do the math. According to Pew Research, 21% of Americans already use self-tracking technologies to understand health patterns or improve cognitive performance.

Wearables and physiolytics bring together concepts that are based on technology concept that has evolved over nearly 50 years.

This so-called fusion of technologies is growing pretty quickly and all thanks to its analysis and processing of the time and motion required to perform a process.
Now that you know about its potential, what are you waiting for? Go get it and be a leader you always wanted to be.

Hierarchical leader-follower model versus Collaborative team leadership
The recent rise of the networked team leadership model allowed us to see and understand many flaws the old Hierarchical model had. Parallel to this evolution, a brand new generation of team leaders came of age. Their cognitive and emotional competencies to navigate complex team environments is what made them a new business beacons.

Become a World-Class Team Leader in 2018

When you have the responsibility to handle local, virtual, and hybrid teams that cross both time zones and cultural boundaries, your main focus should be on the communication. In order to get to the collaboration that is worth something, a new type of leader should create an atmosphere of shared leadership practices.

This way, the entire working system becomes fully bullet-proof as every member takes part in a final duty while sharing all his knowledge together with skills and experience. This approach will create more engagement and better productivity, and it is only one of many faces of the long-term benefit of focusing on human capital development – that is taking place. Right here. Right now.

So, embrace yourself – collective leadership is the wave of the future.

Keep asking yourself same 3 questions, every day.

• What are 3 things I should keep doing to be a better leader?
• What are 3 things I should stop doing to be a better leader?
• What else can I do to be a better leader?

Be honest and be thorough. It’s not important just to ask yourself these 3 question. It is of the utmost importance to be able to respond accordingly and constructively. Find the best way to teach yourself how to answer and practice it every day. Even on a good day, don’t forget about what will soon become your little mantra. You can even write it down, even though it sounds a bit strange: to write down 3 answers to the same questions, every day? Well, yes.

Become a World-Class Team Leader in 2018

This way you will be able to witness the evolution of your thoughts and stands, making analogies and conclusion that will help you refine your leadership skills.

Don’t smirk. Try it.

Now ask the team.
Of course, we don’t mean to do it every day (as you alone should do). This is something that can be arranged on a regular basis – monthly or at the end of every quarter. Ask your team for a candid feedback and take it as a man.

A piece of advice: do it anonymously, by using an online survey, impartial interviewer, or even anonymous comment box.
Once you get a hold of their feedback, compare it to your answers and embrace the opportunity to do better.

Read.
Reading improves a skill called “theory of mind”, the ability to know what others think, intend, believe, or want.

Become a World-Class Team Leader in 2018

Wikipedia is, as usual, much more amply. It says:

Theory of mind (often abbreviated ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself, and to others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own.

Reading is what taught Elon Musk to build a rocket, and Tony Robbins to build a better life. What is stopping you?

Observe people.
Every time you get the chance, watch others. Try to observe as many details as you can. Knowing how to decipher a person is worth more than any other skill you might have. Start while commuting. In the subway, on the street or traffic. Try to analyze a random person. Try to guess his/her occupation and marital status, imagine what they’re going through… Over time, you will become more and more connected to the human beings, your empathy will develop quickly and all that will have the great impact on how you deal with your subordinates.

In the end, we are all only humans. And it takes one to know one. Go human.

Anyhow, the best advice on how to be(come) a good leader lies in one simple sentence: CHANGE YOUR MINDSET. Always listen in which new trends are here to stay for at least a while. Do not hesitate to grasp any opportunity you got to learn something new, even if it means to ignore the way you did it up to that moment.

And always, but, always – keep looking for the way to handle your stress.

Be flexible.
Be honest.
Be open.
And everything will be just fine.

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