Teams are always looking for an edge. You’ve seen it. A football team recruits new talent or develops new plays to beat a tough opponent or even brings in a whole new program to turn around a legacy of losing. Hoping to improve their productivity, businesses invest in new technology. and companies fire their ad agencies and hire new ones to launch campaigns, hoping to make gains on their competitors. The more competitive the field, the more relentless the search for an edge.
What is the key to success? Is it talent? Hard work? Technology? Efficiency? To be successful, a team needs all of those things, but it still needs something more. It needs leadership. Personnel determine the potential of a team. Vision determines the direction of a team. Work ethic determines the preparation of a team. Leadership determines the success of a team.
Everything rises and falls on leadership. If a team has great leadership, it can achieve at the highest level.
Look at any team that has achieved great success, and you will find that it has strong leadership. What empowered the Chicago Bulls to win six NBA championships? Most casual fans would say that Michael Jordan was simply more talented than everyone else. His talent certainly played a role, but those who followed the Bulls know it was more than just talent. The leadership edge of Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan pushed those teams to excel. The difference between two equally talented teams is leadership. That’s the Law of the Edge.
With good leadership, everything improves. Leaders are lifters. They push the thinking of their teammates beyond what was thought to be possible. They elevate others’ performances, making them better than they’ve ever been before. And they raise the expectations of everyone on the team. Although managers are able to maintain a team at its current level, leaders are able to lift it to a higher level than it has ever reached before.
1. Leaders create an environment where each team member wants to be responsible. Good leaders know how to read people and encourage them to take responsibility for their part on the team. But they also remember that they are responsible to be their teammates.
2. Leaders push their teammates to fulfill the promises of their potential. The team can only reach its potential if each of the individuals on the team reach their potential.
3. Leaders learn quickly and encourage others to learn quickly also. Leaders lift themselves to a higher level first, and then they lift the others around them. Modeling comes first, then leadership. If everyone is improving, then the team is improving.