Leaders face all kinds of inner conflicts: projecting confidence without appearing arrogant; being humble yet strong; being agile, but firm in their vision. Exceptional leaders are masters of this balancing act, as WeWork City Lead, Dave McLaughlin showed us during a recent Intelligent.ly Exchange session.
Before joining the WeWork team in May, Dave was the CEO and Co-Founder of Vsnap, a video messaging system for sales reps who need a quick and effective way to create face time with their customers from afar. Adding to his list of impressively original professional journey, Dave was also Marketing Director for Mayor Menino, and Writer of the feature film “Southie,” starring Rose McGowan, Amanda Peet, Donnie Wahlberg, and Will Arnett. Besides having a genuine interest in how his journey unfolded, we’d also heard that “Dave is the best manager” from a handful of friends, so we were anxious to sit down with him to learn how he supports the success of his team.
Here’s what we learned from Dave about how to build teams effectively:
Have Humility…And Bulletproof Confidence
Successful leaders are open to the opinions of others, and incorporate feedback to complement and enhance their own ideas. Be open to understanding (and asking for) your team’s perspectives, but when push comes to shove, great leaders don’t shy away from making executive decisions. Leaders need to have the confidence to be bulletproof under fire, in order to maintain their stakeholders’ trust and make the best decisions for their teams in the long run.
Here are three things to consider when asking for feedback from your team:
- Carve out time to sit down with your team to ensure that they understand your values, inspiring trust for open communication
- Incorporate a touchpoint to gather feedback during the process of developing new ideas. Encourage the team to speak up, and if need be, challenge you, to get the best possible results
- Don’t let your ego get in the way of learning new things.
Know Your Team- Well Enough to Appeal to THEIR Interests:
Your leadership narrative for your team needs to be authentic; if you want people to follow, you’ve got to believe in where you’re headed. Ask your team lots of questions to get them to affirm what they believe in and care about, and use this as leverage when forming the vision. When the whole team can own the vision, you’ll be more cohesive, productive, and proud of your outcomes. Want to hone your authentic leadership skills to learn how it relates to influence and gaining buy-in from others? Enroll in EMERGE.
Be clear and intentional with how you create culture:
Company culture consists of more than grabbing drinks with your team after work. Culture begins with a set of explicitly stated values. Having clear values is one of the most pragmatic things you can do. These values give employees a roadmap for navigating tense situations when they do arrive, and help create cohesiveness throughout the organization. Leaders should be sure to circulate values within everyday conversations so they become natural touchpoints.
Want one actionable piece of advice you can implement today? Ask yourself what is the thing that, when you’re doing, you lose track of time? That’s what you’re meant to be doing, so be great at it.