You can be a great team leader if you always remember one very important thing about human nature: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”!

I’ve always found that if I say something out loud, rather than just reading it to myself, it really stays with me so I remember it when I need to. Even if it makes you feel a little odd, please read the following aloud:

  • I’m a team player myself – willing to collaborate, willing to share credit with my team, comfortable with delegation, willing to “let go” and trust others.

  • I have great role models, people I consider to be the top business minds, past and present. When the chips are down, I ask myself what this person would have done.

  • I can identify a few “anti-role models” and am willing to share mistakes and lessons learned from them.

  • I will clearly demonstrate my commitment to teamwork every day and will model teamwork behavior for my team.

  • I’m comfortable encouraging a diversity of opinion. I will cultivate a healthy range of ideas and think of my team as a pool of unlimited potential. I’ll look for it, facilitate it and reward it.

  • I will ensure that my team is addressing real world issues and that their assignments don’t seem to them like “busy work”. I’ll explain how their tasks are important to overall organizational objectives.

  • I will make the time to hold meetings to review progress toward project objectives and hold meetings as necessary.

  • I’m comfortable celebrating teamwork successes publicly.

  • I can shift gears and conduct mini-brainstorming sessions to resolve problems as they arise.

  • I have recently polished my people skills. (Emotional Intelligence once again: building others’ self-esteem, showing empathy, encouraging cooperation, communicating assertively, asking productive questions and demonstrating listening skills, responding appropriately to emotional statements.)

I’ve intentionally referred to being a “great” team leader instead of just talking about being a team leader. Why work so hard on something just to be average? If you stay true to the above “pledge” and follow the rest of the teamwork recommendations, you and your team will be great!