NMP - September 2016 - 46

Lykken on Leadership How to Build an Unstoppable Leadership Team BY DAVID LYKKEN SEPTEMBER 2016 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n NationalMortgageProfessional.com 46 reat leadership is often the deciding factor in whether an organization achieves extraordinary success or miserable failure. But all too often when we think of leadership, we hold too narrow a definition of what we mean. We may know the CEOs of several organizations. We may know the head coaches of our favorite sports teams. We may know the presidents, prime ministers and other world leaders in many countries. But, do we know the CFO or COO of those same organizations? Do we know the organization's vice president of sales? And what about sports teams-do we know the assistant coaches, offensive coaches and defensive coaches? We know the world leaders, but do we know their support staff-the ministers of the various departments that organize their respective countries? While the single leader at the top of large businesses, sports franchises, and countries may have name recognition, most of them will tell you how largely they depend on the people working with them to manage their respective enterprises. Great leadership does indeed make the difference, but that doesn't just mean the leader at the top-it means the entire leadership team. If your organization is going to flourish, you need solid leadership G "Leaders cannot truly lead unless they are allowed to make their own decisions for their teams." positioned in every department. In this article, I would like to discuss some tips for building an unstoppable leadership team. Keep it small When you get too many people with strong opinions trying to move in the same direction, it can get messy. Your core leadership team should be small enough to allow everyone a voice and yet still permit you to be nimble in your decision-making. If you're in an hour-long meeting and everyone doesn't get a chance to talk, you've probably got too many people on your leadership team. Give them autonomy Leaders cannot truly lead unless they are allowed to make their own decisions for their teams. If you are at the top of your organization and you are trying to build a strong leadership team, you should give each leader the flexibility to run his or her own department. If they are worthy of the position they're in, they'll know their teams far better than you do. Empower them to make decisions for their own teams, and you'll get much better results. Maintain shared values and goals You don't want to micromanage your leadership team-you want to empower them to execute in the way that they think best for their departments. That's where autonomy comes in. That being said, there is a face of leadership in which you do want to control the behavior of your leadership team-and that is in how well they adhere to your mission. How they go about fulfilling the mission is one thing but, if you don't have every member of your team united under the same vision, your team will be pulled in each and every direction. You've got to make sure each member of your leadership team is striving for the same thing. You've got to have shared values you are striving to keep and goals you are striving to reach. Foster an environment of trust It really doesn't matter how competent your leaders are as individuals; if they don't trust each other, they will not be able to function as a team. Now, there are a few components to this. First, there's accountability. You have to make sure each member of your team has the competence and willingness to live up to his or her expectations. If any single member of your leadership team cannot be relied upon to get the job done, the entire team will suffer. So, your leadership team first and foremost must be dependable. The second component of trust is vulnerability. Basically, this means that the members of your leadership must be comfortable with one another. When leaders on a team put up walls, important information does not get communicated, factions form, and misunderstandings abound. You have to have a team that is open and honest in communication. The leaders on your team must be willing to get "naked," to strip away all of their defenses and reveal themselves for who they really are. Unless this happens, you cannot really have authentic trust. Meet often In some business circles, meetings are considered to be the great enemies of productivity. They are considered bureaucratic formalities that waste time that http://www.NationalMortgageProfessional.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NMP - September 2016

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NMP - September 2016 - 1
NMP - September 2016 - Table of Contents
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