A team that is empowered by their CEO will outperform teams that are led by poor leaders. True leadership a vital strength and competitive advantage that many entrepreneurs overlook. Think about your own life. Haven't you worked harder for a boss or a teacher that inspired and empowered you?
As a leader, you are perfectly positioned to uplift your team while you pursue your company's mission and accomplish great things. The time and energy you put into uplifting your team will result in a better company culture, better products, more output and increased profits.
Here are 7 ways you can uplift your team and build a culture that uplifts others in the process.
Allow for mistakes
The fear of making mistakes can block innovation and progress, but mistakes lose their power when you speak openly about them. Include the discussion of mistakes in your weekly meetings and free your team from fear by assuring them that mistakes are part of the process. Your team will respond when they have the freedom to make decisions without fear.
Define clear goals
Everyone feels better when they reach an objective, but you can't hit a target you can't see. Defining clear goals will help your team stay focused, boost teamwork and fuel a desire to achieve success.
Be sure to articulate what the goals are, why they are important and how your team can support one another in making them a reality. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, shared a powerful, company-wide email detailing his goals to maintain Airbnb's amazing culture.
No one likes a boss who micro-manages. Empower your team to make decisions and give them opportunities to independently take action. They'll not only feel uplifted, but also assume more responsibility for the outcomes.
We recently gave a team member more authority and autonomy by expanding his position to "customer advocate." While this initially made us nervous, we're thrilled that he's been able to help customers in creative ways, resulting in a significant drop in customer complaints.
Everyone likes to be appreciated. Embrace a practice of gratitude and uplift others by making "thank you" a part of your everyday vocabulary.
Write thank you notes and emails that explain exactly why you are thankful. I once wrote a quick note to a team member thanking him for the positive energy he brings to our office, noting that his positivity can be just what I need to jumpstart my day. He was thrilled to hear that feedback.
Expressing gratitude becomes more natural with practice. Start by writing one sentence thanking a team member for his or her specific contribution. Write another sentence sharing what it meant to you. It can be short while still being significant.
Keep the mission in mind
Defining and sharing a mission for your company is a great way to uplift your team. A shared passion galvanizes a team to reach higher goals, and to lean on each other as they do.
At SkyBell, our mission to make homes and neighborhoods safer and home security affordable extends beyond simply producing a product. This mission drives and uplifts the whole team.
If you need help defining your mission, read Simon Sinek's book, "Start with Why," or watch his TED talk. As Sinek famously says, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."
No one likes to be interrupted. It's disrespectful and prevents the free sharing of knowledge. It can also create anger and resentment. When you interrupt someone, it implies that your voice is more important than theirs. As a boss, your interruptions can be especially damaging.
Create a rule prohibiting interruptions and then lead by example.
Foster personal vision
As founders, we can become so focused on our visions that we forget about those of our team members. Connect with your employees and learn about their personal visions. Ask about their goals and passions. Then try to align their answers with a direction that serves both them and the company.
You can create a culture of uplifting when you lead by example. Set the tone and give your team something to follow. Then watch and enjoy a shift in buy-in, focus and productivity. A team that is uplifted learns to uplift itself. That kind of team can accomplish anything.