By: Molly Fletcher, author of The Business of Being the Best: Inside the World of Go-Getters and Game Changers (Wiley, 2012)
In this excerpt from her book, sports agent and author Molly Fletcher looks at creating effective team leadership by asking, So what does Peyton Manning do?"
To create a positive environment for your team, you have to give credit where credit is due.
Great leaders do not take every success as their own; rather, they point people out and thank them for all that they have done.
No impossible task was ever accomplished without a team of hard-working individuals dedicated to a cause and vision. When leaders overcome the impossible, they make public who helped them along the way.
If you don’t acknowledge what your team does for you, they won’t buy into you as a leader.
A team needs to know that their work is appreciated and valued. Your team’s effort, diligence and accomplishments are what make you and your organization successful. Without them, you wouldn’t make it far.
Great leaders both praise and reward their team. Certainly everyone appreciates being thanked and acknowledged, but actions speak louder than words so it’s important to reward your team’s hard work.
Peyton Manning’s Just Rewards
Peyton Manning, the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, a four-time Most Valuable Player of the NFL, and a Super Bowl champion, knows this well.
In football, the quarterback is probably the most position to any team’s success. The players who protect the quarterback from getting hit by the other team are called the offensive line.
Peyton Manning has one of the best offensive lines in the business, and that enables him to take the time he needs to make decisions in a fast-paced game.
He has reached the pinnacle of success in his career and will be the first to tell anyone that the attributes much of his success to his team and the players standing in front of him and blocking.
So what does Peyton Manning do?
He buys expensive watches, custom suits and various other gifts for his offensive linemen as a way to show his appreciation.
Peyton may get much of the credit for his accomplishments, but without his team and an offensive line that works hard for him, he would not be able to complete a pass. And in 2010, Manning was the least sacked quarterback in the entire NFL, so his team is certainly holding up their end of the bargain.
Managing Teams by Adding Value
The best leaders ensure that credit for success is spread as widely as possible throughout the company.
Great leaders understand that there are enough compliments, credit and prosperity to go around. They know that they are there to drive the troops to success.
The old saying, “The more you share, the more you have,” is truly applicable here. If your team I shappy, you will be far more likely to succeed. And much of that happiness will be derived by how appreciated your team feels.
With a strong and motivated team, there is little you cannot accomplish, but with an underappreciated and undervalued team, there is little you can.
Putting Leadership into Practice
To be a great leader, you have to spread the wealth, spread the love, spread the credit, and make sure that you thank, praise and acknowledge everyone who made it possible.
Visionary leaders understand that it is their team’s hard work, as much as their own, that helped propel them to the top.
To achieve any vision, you have to meticulously and diligently build and maintain a strong and dedicated team. And this is done directly through your actions.
Rewarding your team is not only about saying please and thank you. It is about acknowledging their value openly by taking steps to improve their lives and showing your appreciation through your actions.
You can reward your team with time, money, or anything in between, but whatever the case, happy and appreciated members of your team will give you the maximum they have to offer.
Molly Fletcher is author of The Business of Being the Best: Inside the World of Go-Getters and Game Changers (Wiley, 2012.) She is a top-rated sports agent, entrepreneur, speaker and business columnist. She has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today and the Washington Post and has appeared on ESPN, CNN and other major news outlets.