Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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Leadership is a vital component of any successful organization. Leadership is the ability of an individual to guide and inspire a team towards a common goal.

A strong leader not only sets the direction for their team but also creates an environment that supports and empowers individuals to achieve their full potential.

Here are six key things that leaders should keep in mind when it comes to leading their teams:

1.Understand and communicate the vision, mission, and goals. A leader’s primary role is to set the direction of their team and to ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives. To do this, leaders must have a clear understanding of their organization’s vision, mission, and goals, AND they have to be able to clearly communicate this direction to their team, and ensure that each individual understands the importance of their role.

2.Communicate organizational and leadership goals and expectations to the teams. A leader must be able to articulate the goals, objectives, and expectations for the team as a whole as well as for each individual. They have to make sure that everyone understands their role, and how they fit in. This helps to create a sense of clarity and direction, which is essential for a team to function effectively.

3.Be situationally aware of the other parts of the business so they know how to support others. A leader must be aware of what is happening in the other parts of their organization, so they can make informed decisions and be able to support other departments. This situational awareness helps leaders to understand the challenges and opportunities that may arise, and that means they make decisions that will benefit not only their own team, but the organization as a whole.

4.Create and use systems to hold people accountable, which includes consequences of job failures. A leader must hold their team accountable for their actions and performance. Leaders can praise effort, but they need to reward results. This means having systems in place to measure and track progress and performance, as well as consequences in place for those who fail to meet expectations. This helps to create a culture of accountability and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals.

5.Uphold high ethical standards. A leader must lead by example and hold themselves to the same or higher ethical standards than they expect from their team. This includes exemplifying honesty, integrity, and fairness, and being transparent about their actions and decisions. This creates a culture of trust and respect, which is essential for a team to function effectively.

6.Embody and instill a sense of pride in what the organization does. I’ve said it before, “Don’t hire a vegetarian to work at your steak restaurant.” There is nothing wrong with being a vegetarian, but it is a misalignment for them to promote steak dinners if they don’t believe in steak dinners. 

A leader must be able to instill a sense of pride in their team for what the organization does. They must be able to communicate the importance and value of the work and inspire their team to be passionate about it. It is hard to be passionate about pairing a steak with wine when you don’t enjoy steak.  Sincere belief and pride fosters a sense of purpose and engagement among team members, which is essential for achieving success.

Leaders play a crucial role in the success of any organization. By understanding and communicating the vision, mission, and goals, being able to communicate their goals and expectations to their teams, being situationally aware of other parts of the business, having systems in place to hold people accountable, holding themselves to high ethical standards, and embodying and instilling a sense of pride in what the organization does, leaders can create an environment that empowers and inspires their team to achieve their full potential.


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