Leading a team comes up ALL the time in my Facebook business group! Leadership is scary for many people but if you’re in ANY kind of sales environment, there’s usually an aspect of leadership involved.
My story of leading a team started about 15 years ago. In the beginning, when everything was new and I’d never been in a leadership role, I often hoped people would just follow my example. This revolved around me staying late, and going the extra mile hoping I was showing my team they could depend on me.
It’s easy to say, “Do what you expect people to do and they will follow,” but that’s not always enough to get people to do what you want them to. It can work, but it’s not the only thing you can be doing to lead a team- especially if you have a virtual team! Walking the talk doesn’t always work by itself.
By 10 years into my career, I’d learned a lot about what NOT to do. I was on a team that was aaallll masculine energy, and VERY focused on winning and wanting to look good. It was very ego-driven, and uncomfortable for me at first. Thinking back to that time, I wasn’t trusting my gut and was looking to those around me, emulating them. (Looking back, I realize I felt hypocritical.) That leadership style can work for some people, but it leaves many others behind because it’s missing some key pieces.
In my final corporate leadership role, I came into my own more and had one of the best bosses I’d ever had! Geoff was everything I’d hoped for my entire career. He was very understanding, listened to what I had to say, and was very development-focused. He was still set on winning, but not at the expense of integrity.
The leaders you look up to are leaving clues that will strengthen your own leadership style. Who have you really enjoyed working with and for, and what stood out to you as inspiring and motivating? Those things will help you find your way in leadership and leading a team!
Some of the most most influential books on leadership that I’ve ever come across are by John Maxwell! (Any books by him are gold!) My favorite book of his is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. I would often pick a law of leadership to discuss with my team when I was in the fitness industry. I had 9 fitness clubs under me, and would often have 9 or close to 18 leaders on a call, and my intention was to get them fired up and focused, all pulling in the same direction. I found this book helpful because we could talk about one law and dissect it, see what everyone thought, and how it would help them!
Laws That Stood Out To Me
The Law of The Lid.
It means a leader’s ability is determined by their level of effectiveness. Let’s say you’re a 6 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of knowledge, effectiveness and helping others… no one on your team will surpass you. They’ll always play below a 6. The more you focus on your “lid,” the more your team will get better because of your development! They’re learning from you, doing what you’re doing. This law showcases the importance of growth and development when leading a team! No one says you need to know it all- the best leaders admit that they don’t. But this law empowers you to do more learning and growth, due to the trickle-down effect it has on your team.
The Law of Respect.
People naturally follow those who are stronger than themselves. What’s interesting is if you have someone on your team that’s not performing, people might still naturally follow them as a leader if they have a strong ability to sway others into their beliefs and habits. That’s all leadership boils down to: do people believe what you believe? How do you tell stories? How do you provide evidence and truths that things are possible? That’s where a lot of inspirational speeches come from! They back themselves with evidence that says “this is possible for you too!” The best way to become a stronger leader is to read. To have those examples of why something is possible for someone else.
“What if doing something differently just meant that you never gave up? What if it meant the difference between a 6 figure year and a 7 figure year?” Those examples are what strengthen you as a leader. Have those stories in your back pocket. People don’t always remember stats and facts, but they remember stories.
The Law of the Picture.
When you think no one is watching, that’s when they’re watching. Are you posting consistently? Polling or surveying your audience consistently? You can say a lot, but if your team isn’t seeing you producing, it can be derailing them.
The Law of Victory.
Leaders find ways for the team to win. I can remember a few times way back when we had some fitness clubs that weren’t gonna hit their goals. This meant going out to the club and working with them all day, getting on the phone, fighting alongside them to help them win. How often are you with your team? Maybe it’s doing things like power hours, or putting on an event to help them become more successful. This law is all about digging deep, making sure you’re doing whatever it takes to help your team win.
The Law of the Big Mo.
This one is my favorite! Momentum is a leader’s best friend. Ever notice when you have momentum, things are easy? In a fitness plan, when you get the first few weeks under your belt, it’s almost like you hit cruise control. Things are happening- cravings are getting lower, workouts are getting easier, the debate about working out is easier… that’s the law of the “big mo.” We get into a natural rhythm of executing on habits we know will make us successful, and it makes winning so much easier! Momentum gathers and gathers. When you come off a great month, keeping it going the next month is so much easier! It takes a LOT of pushes to get it going at first, but once it’s going it’s spinning virtually on its own.
The Law of Explosive Growth.
To add growth, lead followers. To multiply, lead leaders. You don’t want to primarily focus on growing other followers- it’s about training your team to become leaders themselves. If your team is stuck at a certain capacity, they won’t be able to lead their own teams. You’re always focused on multiplying the leaders in your team, instead of gathering lots of followers. Raise leaders and your team will grow that much faster! This can happen by catering your personal development toward this- getting your people to think bigger, look higher. Treat them like leaders!
If you’re nervous about leading, I hope this eased those feelings for you and made it a little easier to take a step forward! It’s a game of repetition and practicing. It’s like a workout- the more you’re comfortable with it, the more you’ll develop your own style.
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