The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry is about to begin practices again, after having been out for almost a month due to a knee injury.
That’s great news.
And it’s not only great news because Stephen Curry is an outstanding player.
It’s great news because Stephen Curry is an outstanding leader.
As a result of his absence, the Golden State Warriors’ performance has suffered. But not simply because of his playing ability. The team’s coach, Steve Kerr says it’s because “the team misses his joy and leadership.”
Stephen Curry is the Golden State Warriors’ point guard. He’s not a coach. While he is not a coach by title, his optimism, demeanor, and energy have the same impact on his teammates that a great coach would have. And that is game-changing.
These key coaching traits give him an almost magical ability to inspire and motivate others.
That ability has a very real, measurable effect on his teammates.
How do we foster this kind of player-leader on our sales teams? How can managers unlock their team members’ leadership potential, so they feel empowered enough to empower others?
Unlocking Your Team’s Leadership Potential
“I regularly see leaders struggling to balance “leading” and “doing”, says Forbes contributor, Mark Murphy, “How much should leaders engage with employees and inspire them to produce great stuff?”
This is a great question. At The Core Results, we believe that great leaders are always engaging their team members, and constantly inspiring them to produce their best work.
And yet, that’s not an easy balance to strike.
“… it can be difficult to break out of the leader-follower mindset at the workplace,” says Forbes contributor Drew Hendricks, “researchers from Penn State, Claremont McKenna College, and Tsinghua University found that only rare, ‘transformational leaders’ are able to prevent employees from being excessively reliant on their bosses, cultivating instead a staff that feels empowered and self-guided.”
Let’s take a look at three ways you can foster your team members’ leadership skills:
If they’re on your sales team – they are there for a reason. Your job as a sales manager is to remember why they are there and to cultivate that “why” day after day.
Whether they have a unique skill for encouraging others when times get tough or an amazing ability to lead by example; the first step in fostering your team members’ leadership skills is to simply acknowledge them.
When Kevin Durant was added to the Golden State Warriors, some critics questioned how a team packed with so many basketball alphas would succeed. The Golden State of Mind says, “it turns out that part of the key is having everyone know their different leadership styles and roles.”
Once you have an idea for your team members’ unique skill set, delegate effectively, and make sure each team member knows what his or her role entails. Encourage your team members to step into those roles fully.
When discussing his role in the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant pointed out that, “Steph Curry is the face of the franchise, and that helps me out, because I don’t have to. ”
It can be a major relief when your team members step up their game and lead each-other, instead of depending solely on you. Once you’ve assessed their abilities and clarified roles, make sure you leave enough room for your team members to test their own skills.
Recognize that sometimes stepping back allows space and opportunity for your team members to step up.
Putting It Into Practice
Most importantly, find joy in seeing your team members hone their leadership styles. At The Core Results, we believe there’s nothing better than watching your team thrive, and by helping your team members embrace their own leadership abilities, you’ll be reducing your own workload, while unlocking your team’s strength.
At the core of business success- across disciplines, across industries- lies a handful of truths, best practices, and strategies we must follow as business leaders to achieve the results we seek.