By Dan Gbur8/17/2023

How Effective Leadership Skills Foster Strong, High-Performing Teams 

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Having an effective leader is crucial when it comes to building a solid and high-performing team. A great leader knows that they need to exhibit certain qualities and take specific actions to create a strong team dynamic and help the team succeed.  

At Brunner, we embrace a “player/coach” management style, actively involving ourselves in the process. Our leadership philosophy draws inspiration from servant leadership, which focuses on serving others, supporting their growth, and fostering an inclusive and empowering work environment. 

If you want to create a supportive team environment that encourages collaboration and growth, look to focus on these five key attributes of a great leader. 

1. Strong Communication Skills, Verbal and Written.

When it comes to communication, a great leader knows that being clear and concise is key. It’s all about making sure everyone on the team understands the project goals, their individual roles, and what’s expected of them. By promoting open and honest communication, a leader creates a safe space where team members can freely express their thoughts and ideas without worrying about being judged. This kind of environment encourages people to speak up, share their valuable insights, and collaborate effectively. 

2. Good Listening Skills.

A leader who actively listens to their team members demonstrates respect and values their unique perspectives. My dad used to tell me that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason — we should listen twice as much as we speak. In sales, for example, it’s crucial to pick up on cues from prospects or clients you’re interacting with. From a leadership standpoint, you want to actively seek input from everyone on the team and appreciate their different viewpoints. This makes them feel valued, appreciated, and like they’re part of the decision-making process. By leveraging their strengths and seeking input from each team member, you can promote ownership and empowerment within the team.

3. Strong Decision-Making Abilities. 

Effective leaders have solid decision-making abilities that help them tackle challenges and guide the team toward success. It’s all about the ‘test, learn, and optimize’ philosophy — you need to make informed decisions, learn quickly, and be ready to pivot if necessary. Consider different options presented by your team, weigh the pros and cons, and then make the best possible decision based on the information at hand. It may not always be perfect, but the key is to learn from it and adapt as a group, moving forward together.

4. Recognizing and Celebrating Achievements. 

Celebrating achievements is vital for creating a positive work environment and keeping the team motivated. Effective leaders make a habit of regularly acknowledging the team’s progress and milestones, recognizing both individual and collective accomplishments. By genuinely appreciating each team member’s contributions, leaders instill a sense of pride and motivation. It’s all about winning little victories and celebrating them along the way.

5. Creating a Cohesive and Collaborative Environment. 

Building a strong team dynamic requires a cohesive and collaborative environment. Effective leaders should encourage open communication, value diverse perspectives, make informed decisions, and celebrate achievements. By doing so, leaders establish a foundation of trust and respect within the team. This kind of environment promotes continuous learning and improvement, fostering a sense of camaraderie. It enables team members to support one another, leading to increased productivity, efficient problem-solving, and a shared commitment to both the project’s and the team’s overall success. 

By applying these leadership attributes to your management approach, you can cultivate a cohesive and thriving team dynamic. The result is a high-performing team that exhibits increased productivity, efficient problem-solving, and a shared commitment to achieving goals and overcoming challenges together. 

In the words of Michael Jordan, “There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is an ‘I” in win.” 

Dan Gbur manages the strategic planning and new business acquisition initiatives for Brunner’s Digital Performance Marketing and Analytics practice. Dan started his 20+ year career in a variety of sales and traditional marketing roles before moving into web-based application development, direct response, and then search engine marketing. At IMPAQT, a nationally recognized search marketing firm, Dan served on the management team for seven years, contributing to the company’s growth and eventual acquisition by Merkle (www.merkleinc. com) in 2011. During his tenure at IMPAQT, Dan spearheaded strategic planning and new business development initiatives that led to client partnerships with several notable national and global brands, including Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Comcast, Office Depot, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, PUMA, Talbots, Kohler, H.J. Heinz, and Bausch + Lomb.