For entrepreneur Mark Cuban, it all started with a pair of basketball shoes—but not the ones you’re thinking of.
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For many business owners, building a team of creative, passionate team members seems like a distant dream—something they’ll never be able to achieve. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Inspiring a team to follow you is not about the money or tight control. It’s about leadership. So what makes a great leader? Here are five guiding principles that some of the best of the best—including Dave—live by.
Inspiring a team to follow you is not about the money or tight control. It’s about leadership.
1. Love Your Team
Your team members are not units of production. They are people who all have hopes, dreams, fears and struggles. And every single one deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart. "Love your team well; treat them like family, and they will act like family," Dave says.
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2. Give Praise
Start making a habit of catching people doing something right, and let them know about it. A sincere compliment is so unusual that it immediately sets you apart. A simple nod or smile showing your approval will do. Or take a few minutes and write a personal note. How about recognizing them in front of their peers? These simple gestures can create magic in a matter of moments and can easily be started today.
3. Seldom Use Your Power
A boss has an iron grip on his team, expecting every employee to immediately jump at his command. He has more rules than Stalin and spends all of his time ensuring that his mandates are followed. Workers know "the boss" holds all the cards. Disobey, and you could be gone in an instant.
A leader, however, realizes the only power they can use is persuasion. As Dave says, "If you want employees, then boss them around; if you want team members, explain why you do what you do. ...Don’t lead with threats and fear."
4. Surround Yourself With Rock Stars
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to fill a minimum-wage job or selecting a new leader for your company, hold out for the absolute perfect person. Having the right people in the right positions allows you to do your best work. So take plenty of time, set your standards high, and keep crazy out of the building.
At Dave’s company, each prospective team member goes through multiple interviews, including one with his/her spouse. They are also required to send us a personal budget and take a personality test to make sure their style fits with the job.
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5. Cast Your Vision
Dave has learned that if you play for something bigger than yourself, you play much harder and smarter. And the same holds true for his team. They work harder because there's a sense of calling.
So how do you let your team know they are doing something important? Repeatedly tell them what they’re working for and why. Share your vision early and often.
Share your vision early and often.
The key to becoming a great leader is serving your team and everyone around you by putting them first. If you do, you’ll be paid back in full with loyalty, hard work and extraordinary results.