To be effective, leaders must not only manage their team but they must develop an understanding of every individual on that team. Prioritizing acquainting yourself with each individual on your team includes knowing their dreams, their hopes, their thoughts, their opinions and their values. This and only this is the key to making sure you not only have the irght team in place but it enhances your ability as a leader to maximize performance.

The most effective leaders seem to have both a unique ability to pick the right people for their team but they are superior in reading and undertanding people. Getting to know and understand people really doesn’t take an enormous amout of time or effort fro effective leaders. I often perform business assessments and one of the most effective tools in determining the challenges facing the businessis simply meeting with individual employees for an hour or less and listening to them. I mean really listening. It is amazing what employees will tell you by asking a few precise questions and having the discipline to then shut up and listen.

Understanding is paramount to success

Understanding the leaders you have selected for your team is paramount ot the success of the business. That means you must ask questions that go beyond the business itself. The right questions reveal passions, beliefs and values. Questions like:

• What are your long term goals – dreams
• What brings a tear to your eyes
• What is your biggest passion in life
• What has been the biggest tragedy in your life
• What has been the biggest joy in your life.

Keep in mind, your discussions with your team memebers are not an interrogation. These questions may be asked over an expanded time period but you need to have a deep undestanding of every team member you have surrounded dyourself with. Your effectiveness as a leader and your success as a business depend on it.

Understand their passions

Your discussions should reveal their passions; a light should brighten in their eyes and an excitement should overtake the conversation. An effective leader must be able to interact with employees, peers, superiors and many other individuals both inside and outside the organization. But, the most important relationship they must nurture is the relationship with the leadership team they have surrounded themselves with. This team must gain the support of many people to meet or exceed established objectives. This means that they must develop or possess a unique understanding of people. The ability to coach-mentor and teach leadership skills to others is the driving force that will create a winning organization. To do this requires a passion for success. That means understanding the individual passions of your team. Being an effective leader requires the understanding of the principles that govern employee behavior. Accomplish that and success is imminent.
It starts with effective communication

Effective communication with your leadership team is the breath of life, the first spark to ignite success. Nothing else is so crucial to survival, solidarity and the ability to grow market share. True leaders inspire others to greatness. Inspiring your team starts by taking that first step to really understand who they are, what they are about and the principles they stand for. Effective face to face communication is your platform to provide that inspiration.

It’s your responsibility

Understanding the team you have put in place to help you run the company is not a luxury. It is a responsibilty you must accept as a leader. Every one of us are human beings with different values, different beliefs, different back rounds and different views. Ask yourself; “how can I possibly be an effective leader without a complete understanding of every one of my team members?”

Author's Bio: – Sign up to receive “The Howl” a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. – Straight talk about today’s issues. Sign up now and download “The Lead Wolf Interview Guide & Sales Training 101 a guide on conducting effective sales training sessions”. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail