How to Get Better at Leading a Team for Long-Term Business Success

Expanding your business requires you to be a good teacher. Every member of your team relies on you to explain your mission, goals, and unique style so they can meet your standards and keep your clients happy! Regardless of your business niche, the “leadership” title is one of the most important ones you can wear. If you take leading a team seriously, your business will be better off.

How to Tell if You’re Effectively Leading a Team Towards Success (or Not)

Even if you’re considered a top talent in your industry, clients will turn away to pursue other brands if your team feels disjointed. They want to work with a united front!

There are many signs your team isn’t working well together:

  • Advertising lacks a clear, branded voice
  • Stress oozes across departments
  • Teammates are mostly unhappy or frustrated
  • Fluctuations in data are noticeable, such as a decrease in sales or poor customer experience ratings

The list goes on! But if you’re doing a good job leading a team, your clients are likely to stick around for the positive vibes, optimal efficiency, and quality service they’re receiving. Your teammates are like an extension of you: your talents, knowledge, and drive to succeed!

4 Strategies for Leading a Team to New Heights

Whether you think you’re an effective leader or not, there are always ways to improve. And every step to strengthen your team is a step in the right direction! Check out these four tips for effectively leading a team.

Communication is Key

It’s not enough to speak when you’re spoken to. Leading a team requires you to set up multiple platforms to exchange ideas—talk and listen. Remember, conversations between virtual teammates won’t typically happen automatically. To bridge the gap between computer screens, you need to inspire collaborative dialog as often as you can.

Plan zoom calls, message frequently, and keep it casual (and comfortable) when you can. Teammates are more likely to communicate if they’re friends.

Be patient, kind, understanding, and cognizant of how your text-based messages come across. It helps if you set up communication preferences and standards (such as where, when and how you’ll communicate) to avoid issues.

Mix Up (or Pare Down) Your Meetings for Clear Messaging

Some occasions call for full-team meetings. Others demand the audience of a small group or just one person. It’s crucial for you to take the time to consider who’s valuable in each business meeting and resist the urge to send invitations to all team members if it’s not necessary.

More intimate meetings allow contributors to say more. They can vocalize concerns, get creative, and feel the true weight of their responsibilities. 

Medium-sized meetings are great for planning upcoming projects or reviewing completed projects. Larger meetings help get everyone up-to-speed on the overall health of your business. And 1:1 meetings are great for performance reviews and discussing personal matters.

Encourage Breaks and Time Off

When leading a team, it’s necessary to make sure nobody’s getting overloaded. Everyone needs to take breaks to perform at their best. (Even you!) Develop a culture of acceptance around time off so all of your teammates feel comfortable stepping away from their work when they need to.

It helps if you limit mandatory work outside of business hours (i.e. nights, weekends, or holidays) as much as possible. Check in with your busy bees often to ensure their workloads are manageable and work-life balance is holding steady.

The simple gesture of asking about your team’s wellbeing goes a long way to create a warm, understanding business climate.

Try Leading a Team Using Data

Use surveys to ask your team members how you can improve as a leader. Surveys are a powerful tool to collect data, and analyze trends and patterns about your teammates’ thoughts and behaviors. This can help you make better business decisions on their behalf! 

Anonymous surveys work best: Your teammates are more likely to spill the beans and be honest with their answers (no matter how brutal). You can also set up an offboarding survey to learn information when a team member leaves the team. What was their experience working with you? How can you improve based on their responses?

Whether survey data shows you’re effective at leading a team or not, at least it’s truthful! 

Plus, your other business metrics play a crucial role in steering you through problems that arise—or help to avoid them altogether. Check out Measure & Maximize to find out exactly how to measure your team’s progress and reward them when they’re doing well! Your attention and acknowledgment of key data figures will lead to a happier, more driven team.

Leading a team is one of the most challenging components of owning a business, but you can do it! Use the tips from this article to zoom in on the best ways to lead—putting the needs of your team members front and center.