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How to Unlock Your Team's True Potential by Creating a Team of Leaders A team of leaders is crucial for your business to stay ahead of the curve and out-think your competition.

By Dionne Van Zyl

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a business owner or leader, you know that success comes from having a solid team. But what if you could take your team to the next level? What if you could go beyond a "Team with a leader" and create a "Team of leaders" that helps your business grow and pushes it to new heights?

That's the power of a team of leaders. In this article, we'll explore what a team of leaders is and why it's crucial for your business to jump the curve.

What is a team of leaders, and why is it crucial for business success?

A team of leaders is a group of ordinary people who learn to lead their own contribution and lead those who report to them — this includes those who have no one reporting to them. They lead their contribution to the organization, and they often lead customers or vendors too.

This means using a power best practice of developing leaders throughout the organization — not just at the top. When a team of leaders is established, it can lead to significant increases in productivity, innovation and employee engagement.

A team of leaders helps to distribute inventiveness, workload and responsibilities, allowing the business to operate more efficiently and effectively. This mechanism of unleashing a new culture of innovation and ownership causes team members to feel fully alive in their jobs. This translates to considerable gains in productivity and profitability.

Related: How Successful Leaders Communicate With Their Teams

The benefits of creating a high-performance team of leaders

First, creating a high-performance team of leaders fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation, which can lead to new ideas and solutions. When each team member starts to think: "What would a great leader do in this situation?" leadership growth becomes part of the culture.

When team members are taught how to take risks, reimagine processes, innovate and think for themselves, they are upgraded from workers to leaders. This concept creates a sense of ownership and accountability, which translates to increased engagement and motivation.

Second, a team of leaders can help businesses stay ahead of the curve. By constantly seeking out new information and trends, they can anticipate changes in the market and adapt quickly. This can help the business to remain competitive and grow.

Finally, a high-performance team of leaders can help to develop the next generation of leaders. By investing in leadership development, businesses can create a pipeline of talent ready to take on new challenges and opportunities.

Jumping the curve is a concept that refers to businesses that can leapfrog their competitors by creating new products or services that are significantly better than what is currently available. A team of leaders is the best way to achieve it. When team members are trained to think as leaders, they can create new products or services that are disruptive and game-changing.

Related: 5 Essential Things Employees Can Teach Leaders About Growth, Success and Happiness

The characteristics of a power team and how to build one

There are three keys to building a team of leaders. These three keys have to become part of the organization's culture, which means it takes time. It is typical for these three keys to take 12-18 months to become institutionalized into the organization's fabric.

  1. Weekly leadership training throughout the organization. This will not be achieved by an offsite meeting, a webinar or short-term training. Think of a block of ice that needs to become water. Culture is about small weekly training that raises the temperature slightly every week. After six months, change begins to set in, and that process will cause the ice to melt automatically. Keep it up for a few more months, and the water turns to steam. Focus on the process of small weekly changes, and the results will be automatic. These weekly training can be simple 30-minute sessions in which you begin to permit to work differently and provide practical tools to develop how they work. Introducing concepts like deep work or helping team members understand how you make money. It is inspiring to understand how their actions contribute to the bottom line.
  2. Normalizing the new behavior. The training needs to become the new way you do things. Raising expectations that everyone needs to participate because "This is our New Normal."
  3. Creating a trust culture. This means a "no blame culture." We know that when team members feel safe, their brain chemistry changes into the mode that allows them to be innovative and feel a sense of belonging. When they continue to fear the consequences of bad outcomes, their brain chemistry remains defensive, and they will not adopt the New Normal. Nothing will change.

Related: Master These 5 Leadership Skills to Increase Your Results Tenfold

The importance of trust in a team of leaders

Trust takes time. Many leaders have broken the trust of their teams. In these cases, humility is the power option. Recently, I was in a meeting with a company's leadership team, and the CEO said, "I want to take a moment to address a serious issue that has held us back as an organization. I have broken your professional trust. I apologize for that. We are all learning. We are creating a new 2.0 version of the company - as a team of leaders. I am still learning how to lead a team of leaders. This is new to me too." This immediately impacted the team, and productivity and morale improved.

To take the first step towards building a team of leaders, businesses should focus on weekly leadership development for the whole company and create a new 2.0 culture - the new normal.

Dr. Van Zyl is an author, conference speaker, business leader, executive trainer, and student of the best management practices for over 30 years. He specializes in creating high-performance teams for emerging businesses.

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