“The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
What makes people great? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines great as markedly superior in character or quality. I think that in order to be great, you need to:
do acts that benefit others and not yourself
exercise these acts without being ordered
Therefore, in order to create a great team, you need to let the team members carry on with their tasks without being told to do so. Every single soul is capable of achieving and doing great things if only they are given the chance. However, there are things like fear, insecurity, and pretense can keep people from showing their potential for greatness. In a team where perfectionism seems to be a necessity, members tend to keep themselves from going beyond their duties. With the fear of being shamed, workers tend to stay within their comfort zone so as to keep themselves from making mistakes. This kind of mindset keeps your team members from being reactive, satisfied, and great at their job.
How can you encourage your team to do great things rather than order them?
First and foremost, you need to establish trust. Remember that our behavior is shaped by our personality and the kind of environment we are in. When a team member acts a certain way, we are quick to judge his or her personality. We tend to forget that a toxic environment encourages a person to act badly. On the other hand, a pleasant environment encourages everyone to do good things. Since it is hard to transform personalities, your job as a leader, should be to establish an environment of trust and confidence. By trust we don’t mean that your members think that you, as their leader, is faultless or is always right. Trust means that your decisions will be for the good of the whole team.
Second, let the members think like a leader. Encourage passion and initiative in the minds of your team members by letting them take control. Instead of making them feel that they need your go signal, let them tell you what they intend to do when handling a certain task. Telling them what to do will rob them of the sense of responsibility. They will think that if the action fails, they will not be blamed. On the other hand, if you let them think that they are in full control of the task, they will perform as best as they could.
Some leaders are more comfortable when they are the ones making every single decision. This is normal but this is not the right way to create a great team. Your team will be less pressured and more satisfied with their work if you let them shine and actively exhibit their knowledge and capabilities. Keep yourself from creating a team of followers. This will just undermine their sense of initiative. Treat your members as leaders so that they act with a sense of responsibility.