Great leaders recognize the importance of individuality within the framework of a team. No team can be successful without the unique skills brought to the group by each member. If everyone were the same, then it would be an assembly line, not a team. The leader’s challenge is to find the harmony between varying talents to orchestrate a cohesive unit that maximizes productivity and success. If a leader does not take the time to get to know each member of the team, he or she is less able to utilize each person’s best abilities, or to foster their growth overall.
One of the benefits of getting to know one’s team members allows a leader to recognize and allocate their strengths for maximum effect. Many times, an individual’s strengths are harnessed or limited to a specific set of duties. For instance, many companies restrict their marketing staff to being a group who generates marketing plans and information, yet they don’t follow the material out to the field to assist with its implementation. If a staff member within the marketing division has a talent for training and communication, a team leader could send that person into the field in a training environment to assist with coaching and motivating those who will utilize the material for maximum benefit to the company’s marketing goals. This not only supports those receiving the training to further understand the content, but it also promotes growth of the individual delivering the training by using a set of his or her strengths in another area within the team.
By knowing and evaluating strengths and weaknesses amongst individuals within his or her team, the leader is best able to allocate resources and talents, as well as build trust and confidence within the group. In promoting cross-functionality and diversity within the roles of team members, a leader builds the right framework to ensure the team operates at peak performance and promotes a positive environment for development. This allows a leader to focus on identifying other areas for action or direction to support the company’s strategic plan.