2Almost every exceptional leader has a passion for building and developing an elite team. After all, who would want to lead a run-of-the-mill team? That would not reflect well on your leadership skills.

However, it takes more than a desire to lead an effective team. Leaders must be persistent and consistent in their pursuit of personal and professional development. They must also be willing to use feedback to make regular adjustments and create an environment that fosters attitudes of loyalty and teamwork toward a common goal.

Here are four tips on what it takes to lead an effective team:

Allow your people to use their talents and make mistakes

Some leaders tend to micromanage the activities of the team. The best leaders move aside and give their team members the freedom to do what they do best. Too much control makes them passive, while independence leads to commitment.

Giving your team permission to make mistakes goes hand-in-hand with autonomy. Make sure your team knows it’s better to slip up than to be fearful. Great teams know that mistakes are all part of the process, so they do not hesitate to move forward boldly.

Lead by your positive example

Your habits influence your team, so be sure what you’re saying is consistent with what you’re doing. Be the leader your people can trust to follow through on everything you say. The best leaders develop a reputation of being true to their word. Not only does this tell others they can count on you, it shows the kind of behavior you expect from them.

Now you can urge your team to move into their leadership roles as you empower and encourage them along the way.

Don’t try to be a perfectionist

Act decisively and with a purpose. Waiting for the perfect time or conditions only serves to slow down the process. Success and growth come from determined actions. Constantly making tough decisions requires confidence and courage, and understanding the needs of your team members shows you have compassion. When you show your team you are fearless, it’s easier to reassure them to take chances.

Create an enjoyable work environment

Everybody on your team will perform at a higher level if they are having a good time in a relaxed atmosphere. People who work under these conditions make it through the tight deadlines and difficult tasks better than those who are working in an edgy or pressure-cooker –  type environment. Excellent leaders create an enjoyable workplace without giving up the team’s productivity or commitment to quality.

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