I was watching a video on LinkedIn recently where 2 former Navy Seals, authors of “Extreme Ownership”, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, were talking about how leadership defines a team and how it can directly effect the success of a team.
[You can see the video here: www.linkedin.com/hp/update/6196684208153325569]
To summarize; The story was about 6 Navy Seal boat crews doing a training exercise. These boat crews consisted of 7 men per boat, with a senior member being the boat crew leader. The boat crews were racing against each other, and time and time again the same boat kept finishing last, while one of them kept finishing first.
It was observed during the coarse of this exercise that those in the losing boat were fighting amongst each other and blaming one another for their failure. At this point it was decided to swap out the leader of the boat that consistently won these races with the leader of the boat that kept finishing last, simply to see what the outcome might be. Of course, they had no idea how this change would affect the outcome, but they were curious, and so the race was on. Coincidentally, the boat that kept finishing last had won the very next race, and did so with the new boat crew leader on board guiding and encouraging his team, and making them believe it was in fact possible for them to win the race.
This real-life example goes to show there are no bad teams, just bad leaders, and is a tremendous illustration on the power of effective leadership and the positive impact of teamwork.
Further to support this point, in a corporate leadership role I held previously, a select few on my team thought I didn’t do much of anything. They questioned my existence and didn’t understand why I was the leader of this business unit. They felt my managers did all the work and I wasn’t contributing much of anything.
Of course, I’m a firm believer that you can accomplish tremendously successful results and stay under the radar while doing so, and still do your job effectively. And here’s what I’ve learned during my lengthy leadership career;
Leadership is about encouraging and empowering others to achieve greatness, and my leadership style was so subtle, some skeptics didn’t even realize the impact I was having on their success, and the team’s success. The fact is, they didn’t quite understand how I was quietly guiding the ship, while the deck hands so to speak (my leadership team) appeared to be doing all the hard work helping their teams to exceed performance targets and expectations.
The fact is, effective leaders make others feel like it’s their success. Effective leaders teach, guide, empower and encourage others, and help them understand what it takes to achieve success, and some, like myself, do so with very subtle influence.
“To be an effective leader all you need to do is help enough other people realize success, and you as a leader will achieve successful by default.” -Michael W. Harnett
This is the method I utilized when leading my teams, and is why we as a ‘team’ achieved sustainable, consistent, world class results.
Simply put, effective leaders help others, encourage them, guide them, support them, teach them, make them believe in themselves, and chart the course and steer the ship. By collaborating as a cohesive unit, the positive impact of teamwork yields extremely positive results.
Ultimately, what effective leaders are doing is lending a helping hand, because it is those doing the hard work on the front lines, those who are putting forth consistent effort, and those who are open to learning and growing every single day, it is those people that are creating their own path to success, but it usually takes an effective leader to show them the way.
You see, it’s about empowering and encouraging others my friends, and giving them the credit they deserve for their own success, and not selfishly taking the credit for yourself as the leader. If you use this approach as a leader you will have influence over people, and with influence over people they will follow you on the course you set for them, and ultimately, amazing things happen for all, due to working together as a cohesive and supportive unit, by striving towards the same goal, thus creating an environment where the team can perform at their highest levels, allowing all to enjoy positive results, together as one! And that my friends is the power of effective leadership and the positive impact of teamwork.
In life, we all need mentors, coaches, supporters and effective leaders to show us the way, and that is my life’s mission. I help youth with character and leadership development so they can realize amazing levels of happiness, achieve tremendous levels of success, all while realizing their full potential as individuals.
I hope my words have inspired, and added value to you today. All the very best on your life journey!
Much love. Much kindness. Much respect.
Here’s to YOUR success!!!
About the Author: Michael W. HARNETT is a Certified John C. Maxwell Coach, Trainer and Speaker based in Ontario, Canada. He founded the brand Mind Growth Matters in 2014, due to an incredible desire and passion to help others change their mindset, overcome their fears, step out of their comfort zone, realize their full potential, live a life of purpose and significance, and achieve much greater levels of success and happiness in both life and career.
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