Can you guess what is the most important thing to be as a leader?
You can probably guess all sorts of things: relationship building, communication, awareness, positivity, innovation…the list goes on.
And you probably are a lot of those things too.
When I speak with leaders, I emphasize that a person’s success as a leader isn’t what you do or how you do them – it’s about how often you do these important things.
The Most Important Thing to Be as a Leader: Focusing Your Team
A leader’s most important job is taking the time and effort to focus their team.
Their most important work is focusing the time and expertise of their team on doing the most important work of the organization.
The most successful businesses are driven by profit, innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness.
The revenue and results built by your team are all driven by how people spend their time (effort) and expertise (knowledge and skills). This will elevate your team to success. By doing these things and being a role model for your team, you can experience amazing results.
How to Elevate Your Team
Creating a vision requires passion. This passion elevates your own commitment and creates productivity both with yourself and your team.
A leader will likely not be fully immersed in their role, their organization, or their team if they are not passionate about what they are doing.
I go into how injecting passion into your work can help transform your life in my book, The Fred Factor.
2. Time, Expertise, and Motivation
Everything is the byproduct of time and expertise.
When a leader invests both time and expertise into his team, the team grows. This leads to growth, which eventually leads to success.
By spending time with and investing in the expertise of a team, an organization can flourish. And when a team flourishes, so does a leader.
When time and expertise are invested wisely, the organization also achieves great success. By putting the time and expertise into your team, you can motivate them to improve in their role.
To learn more about how to motivate your team, click here.
Focus comes hand in hand with time and expertise. By focusing on the strengths (and weaknesses) of a team and learning how to constantly improve and grow, an organization can produce positive results.
When a leader doesn’t have this focus, the organization suffers.
When lacking focus, mediocrity becomes the norm. And while focus is a huge part of great leadership, so too is shared focus.
A leader isn’t just a person who is focused, but one who creates shared focus.
There is a great deal of wasted time and expertise in companies where employees are doing low-priority work or work that shouldn’t be done at all.
And when a team lacks an effective leader, it is difficult for them to know what they should be doing instead.
When a leader takes the time to show their team the importance of their work and how their work will achieve success, the whole organization grows. This commitment is what creates remarkable performances. You can learn more about how to achieve remarkable performance in my book, The Encore Effect.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to be as a leader is someone who regularly takes the time to focus on and elevate their team.
Just as a conductor makes sure members of an orchestra are all playing the right music to the best of their ability, so does an effective leader do his job.
That is the most important job of the leader.
For more tips on how to be a great leader, click here.
Mark Sanborn is a famous keynote leadership speaker. To learn more about how to improve your leadership skills and grow as a leader, take a look at any of my wide collection of resources. You can also consider reading my Extraordinary Living Journal —buy one, get one free!
If you enjoyed this post, here are three more articles you might also find interesting:
Better than Best Practices
How to Lead for What Comes Next
The Question of These Times and 6 Ways to Answer
This post was originally published on November 27, 2018 and has been updated for 2020.