How Great Leaders Captivate Their Teams

With Baby Boomers leaving the workforce in droves, companies have become laser-focused on creating a new generation of leaders. A recent survey found that nearly 50% of organizations are increasing leadership development spending in 2018, with total spend expected to reach as much as $50 billion. The door is wide open for younger generations to take the reigns and lead their companies into the future.

With Baby Boomers leaving the workforce in droves, companies have become laser-focused on creating a new generation of leaders. A recent survey found that nearly 50% of organizations are increasing leadership development spending in 2018, with total spend expected to reach as much as $50 billion. The door is wide open for younger generations to take the reigns and lead their companies into the future.But for those who have spent their careers under the tutelage of older generations, taking a leadership role can be intimidating. Leading a team is complicated; personalities clash, opinions differ, and motivations vary. Despite the many obstacles that come with leadership, the role of a leader never changes: To help their teams to set and achieve challenging goals that move their company forward.Studies have shown that teams that set specific and challenging goals see greater success 90% of the time than those who set relatively easy goals. Of course, leaders aren’t judged on the goals they set, they’re judged on what they achieve. So, for a leader, compelling their team to achieve is tremendously important. Below, you can find four ways that leaders can captivate their teams and lead them to success.

Communicate and Listen Well

Many leaders will try to take an authoritative approach to their role. Unfortunately, a “my way or the highway” philosophy is markedly ineffective when it comes to uniting a team towards a common goal. When members feel that they have no say in the team’s objectives or methods, they feel demotivated and unimportant.It’s much easier to unite employees under a common objective when a leader encourages an open exchange of ideas. Leaders should give equal consideration to every individuals input. Of course, the leader will have the final say, but they should always hear and consider the input of their team members. When leaders communicate with this goal in mind, their team member will feel appreciated and more inclined to follow the leader’s ultimate decision.

Set A Strong Example of Hard Work

Have you ever had a boss that demanded a lot from his employees, then retreated to his office to work in solitude? Spoiler alert: no one wants to work for a boss like that. When people see the lengths that their leader is willing to go through to achieve a goal, their own desire to accomplish that task will grow.Of course, the opposite is true as well. If a boss sits in his office and offers no measurable contribution, team members will feel that they can disconnect from the project, and the work will suffer. Instead, a great leader gains the trust of his team by being in the trenches with them.

Practice Servant Leadership

For many employees, hearing their boss say, “how can I help?” means one of two things: either they want to be more involved, or you’re doing a bad job and they want to fix it. But when hearing “how can I help?” is commonplace, the fear of the latter dissolves. Great leaders who practice servant leadership are so dedicated to the success of their team that they will take on extra responsibility to ensure it. And they do so with a genuine desire to help, not from a need to show everyone the “right way” to do things.Servant leadership is not a one-time thing—it needs to be consistent, day in and day out. This creates a positive feedback loop; teams will be much more willing to help their leaders if they feel their leaders are willing to help them.

Offer Praise

Recognition drives productivity. 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt more appreciated, and Gallup polls show employees who receive regular praise are a more likely to remain with their organization than those who don’t.Too many leaders overthink this, though. Praise doesn’t need to be complicated. You don’t need to develop an employee recognition program or some sort of incentive system. Keep it simple. A quick email to an employee to thank them for their efforts is enough to let them know that you’re aware of their contributions. Just make sure that you recognize each of your team members on a regular basis.To sum it all up: a leader is useless if they don’t set goals and compel their teams to achieve them. Effective leaders get the best out of people by working as their equal, not by issuing orders from a corner office. Those who embrace these four practices will see greater buy-in and better work from their teams.

Michael Seaman

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Swipesum. A veteran of the payments industry, Michael and his brother Stephen have led Swipesum since its inception in 2016. In his free time, Michael likes to play with his two daughters and skateboard.

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