To be a team leader and rally a diverse group towards a central, unified goal is no mean feat. One of the absolute requirements of a leader is more than management and organizational skills – charisma! One of the misconceptions about charisma is that it is purely a trait that one has to be born into; however, with the right attitude and enough moxie, one can learn to be a charismatic leader as well.
A good leader must constantly assess how well the progress of their team is going, and must be able to reevaluate a course of action as soon as a problem becomes apparent. This plays into another aspect of leadership, confidence to reassure your team that the path you have taken is the right one. Sometimes it isn’t, and confidence also plays an important part in acknowledging these mistakes. When this happens, you must be able to quickly asses where the problem arose from, and decide on a course of action to remedy the situation. Showing strong leadership allows you to leverage the resources at your disposal, such as the collective knowledge and expertise of your team. As a leader, it is your job to transform the teams raw skill into a real, usable solution to the problems that rise up.
With this in mind, it is vitally important to keep the channel of information open between you and the rest of your team. Make sure that you know exactly what each member of the team does and does not understand, make sure that everyone does understand the details of a decision before it becomes finalized. Take in as much feedback from the rest of your team as possible.
When talking with your team, both as a group and individually, be aware of your tone. Charisma attracts people, and polite, friendly tones let people trust you and open up to you. Your body language should be easy going, not stiff, and your tone should be gentle, if firm.
How often do you bump into staff, teacher or students, or other colleagues in the hallways? Engage with them on a personal, non-business-as-usual level. Ask about their personal challenges, ask about their day, offer help and feedback when possible. Show warmth and compassion.
This is most important when you need to make an unpopular decision. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done, and there is no positive way to resolve an issue. You must, now more than ever, show that you care. Show that you understand how unpopular the decision is, but that there is no other choice.
As a strong leader, your team and those who rely on you will respect that. If you connect with them on a personal level, and offer them trust, they will accept and stick by you through any difficulty.