I’ve built and managed teams for longer than I’d like to admit but if I’ve learned one thing, to make a difference it’s all on me. Difference equals outstanding work, outstanding service and outstanding careers. I have two passions at work (beyond making money). One, delivering great work for clients that makes a positive impact to their bottom line. Two, leading a team in a way that brings out the best in them. And if I do number two, number one naturally occurs.
There’s no rocket science behind leading a great team (I’m not that smart), it’s just that “great leadership” doesn’t always happen. I’ve learned five important elements to making a difference:
- Respect: Don’t dump and run. Delegate, yes. Consider rolling up your sleeves and working alongside, even if it’s doing something else. Just be present.
- Value: People want to contribute and know where they fit into the overall picture. Get them excited about growing that contribution and help them get there.
- Accountability: Don’t be a pushover. Tell them you expect greatness and hold them (and you) accountable. Accountability drives pride.
- People first: Create a community. Identify common interests and unique perspectives, and value relationships, not just output.
- Advocacy: Fight for your team, even if it’s the unpopular thing to do. No one does good work feeling under fire and unprotected.
I always tell my team to work for lots of managers early in their career…learn what to do and what not to do. And one more thing, surround yourself with people smarter than you. Together you will all achieve greatness.
Partner & Director of Client Services
Bob has led client service teams at several notable agencies, across most verticals including financial services (lending, wealth management, retail and card), telecom, pharma, industrial supply, insurance and travel. His focus has been on direct and digital with the goal of delivering thought leadership along with exemplary service.