Building a reliable team, one of the most important keys to successful leadership, is easy for a high performer to overlook. Leaders with a strong skill-set can easily fall into the trap of trying to do everything themselves. While a talented individual can achieve certain levels of success as a solo act, he or she can normally achieve more leading a reliable team.
I was reminded of this concept while speaking to a group of very impressive students at Mississippi State University a few weeks ago. After my presentation, a student asked me about the importance of performance compared to other career success factors we discussed. In my response, I told her that individual performance is most important early in one's career and leadership is more important later in the career. The logic here is that as we grow in our careers, our ability to build and lead teams becomes more important than our individual ability to handle tasks.
The message here is that the best performers and ethical leaders learn, as they grow and mature, to get more done by replicating their capabilities through teams they develop and lead. We see this quality in athletes like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, who lead their teammates by showing them what it takes to be successful professionals. We see it with business leaders who build multiple businesses during their careers, by hiring talented individuals and developing them into leaders to help drive those businesses to success. We can even see it in students and young professionals who lead groups at their companies and schools by surrounding themselves with other talented people who collaborate to make significant change.
The power of a reliable team is immeasurable. When an ethical leader builds a strong team, goals get met, missions are accomplished, and positive change happens. I ask you leaders, are you surrounded by a reliable team? Are you part of a reliable team? If so, be a difference in your world. If not, stop trying to move hills alone, and go move mountains with a reliable team.
— As Always, Lead With Integrity!