Leaders who prioritize their team’s success tend to perform better than those who prioritize their own success because of several interconnected factors that ultimately promote a more cohesive, motivated, and effective team. After all, your role as a leader is to help other people succeed, because when they succeed, you succeed.
- Collective intelligence and synergy: When a leader focuses on the success of the team, they harness the collective intelligence of the group. This promotes synergy, where the output of the team is greater than the sum of its individual parts. By leveraging the unique skills, knowledge, and perspectives of team members, leaders can identify more innovative solutions and make better-informed decisions.
- Psychological safety and trust: A team-centric leader fosters an environment of psychological safety, where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and challenges. This creates a foundation of trust, allowing team members to work together more effectively, communicate openly, and be more likely to collaborate and innovate. In contrast, a leader who prioritizes their own success may inadvertently undermine trust by creating an atmosphere of competition and self-interest.
- Employee engagement and motivation: Leaders who prioritize team success often demonstrate empathy and concern for their team members’ well-being, development, and job satisfaction. This not only increases employee engagement but also boosts motivation and commitment to the team’s objectives. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to go above and beyond in their roles, leading to better overall performance.
- Reputation and credibility: A leader who puts the team first is more likely to gain the respect and loyalty of their team members. This, in turn, enhances the leader’s credibility, both within the team and with external stakeholders. By consistently prioritizing the team’s success and well-being, a leader can establish a strong, positive reputation that fosters trust and collaboration.
- Shared ownership and responsibility: A team-focused leader encourages shared ownership and responsibility for successes and failures. This empowers team members to take initiative, develop their skills, and contribute meaningfully to the team’s objectives. In contrast, a leader who prioritizes their own success may be more likely to micromanage, hoard responsibility, or take credit for others’ work, which can demoralize and disempower the team.
- Adaptability and resilience: A leader who prioritizes the team’s success is more likely to be flexible and responsive to change. By actively involving team members in decision-making and problem-solving, they can better adapt to shifting circumstances and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Moreover, a cohesive, trusting team is more likely to demonstrate resilience in the face of setbacks or challenges, making it easier to bounce back and continue pursuing shared goals.
In conclusion, leaders who prioritize their team’s success create an environment where collective intelligence, trust, engagement, credibility, shared ownership, and adaptability are nurtured. These factors combine to form a more effective, motivated, and resilient team that ultimately outperforms one led by a leader who prioritizes their own success. Remember your primary role as a leader is to help those who report to you to succeed.