Let’s talk about an important-and often overlooked-aspect of leadership, especially for new leaders. The mindset transition from ME to WE.
When you’re a team member, you focus on yourself–your performance, your relationship with the boss, your promotion, your ambitions, etc. This is ME thinking.
As a leader though-that ME mindset just doesn’t work.
Why? Because your success as a leader is a direct reflection of your ability to support and enable the team to be successful. It’s not just about your own achievements anymore. When your team shines, that’s when you know you’re doing a fantastic job. This requires WE thinking.
So, how do you make that shift from “me” to “we”?
First reflect on why you wanted to be a leader in the first place. Think about your leadership brand—those goals and aspirations you set for yourself. Are you actually living up to them? Are you talking the talk and showing those behaviors and values in your everyday actions?
Remember you’re a role model. Great leaders lead by example. Show the team the behavior and qualities you expect from them.
The power of listening. Seriously, shut up and listen—like really listen. Ditch the distractions and give the team your full attention. Seek to understand everyone’s perspectives, ideas, and concerns. Ask a ton of questions and mine for feedback. This will help you shift your focus to a more holistic view of what’s best for the team.
Flex those empathy muscles. Put yourself in your team members’ shoes and consider their experiences and perspectives. Understanding where they’re coming from will make you a better leader and foster stronger connections within the team.
Instead of solely focusing on your own ambitions and goals, set objectives that align with the team’s success. Involve your team in the goal-setting process. When everyone has a say and feels ownership, magic happens. Nothing brings a team together like a shared goal.
Give credit where credit is due when those team goals or milestones are met. Acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of each team member. By highlighting the collective success, you reinforce the importance of teamwork and motivate everyone to keep pushing forward.
Now, I know what you’re thinking—team-building activities. Some people roll their eyes at the mention of them, but trust me, they work. Team-building activities foster collaboration, trust, and a sense of shared purpose. They show you firsthand the benefits of a team-oriented approach and the value of collective success.
Leaders-your personal goals and ambitions are still important, just make sure to prioritize the team and organizational goals. Now go out there and lead like a rockstar!