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5 Traits to Become an Effective Team Leader



effective leadership

Strong team leaders are important for every company: they are always there when a team encounters difficulties, they’re able to face challenges and are difficult to replace. The truth is, leadership starts at all levels. If you’re an employee, demonstrating leadership qualities will get you noticed. If you’re an entrepreneur, leadership skills will help you brand yourself as a leader in your marketplace. You aren’t born with leadership skills, they are learned. The best way to learn these skills is to first understand the common traits shared amongst effective team leaders, which is what I’m going to share with you today.

In this article, I’m sharing with you the five traits to become an effective team leader.


Everybody likes reliable people – those, who keep their promises, complete all given tasks, give proper instructions and do everything on time. If you want to be accepted both by your team and management, you have to demonstrate you can be trusted. Being reliable for a period of time is not enough: this has to become part of your identity.



This doesn’t mean you have to be running around talking to everyone all the time. However, you need to always be open to answering questions and sharing your ideas and perspectives with a team. You also have to be open and willing to assist your team: share valuable information or give advice if you’re more experienced in something – this way you’ll gain their trust and establish good relationships. If a team member asks for your help, be a leader and try to help them or at least find someone else who can – this way your team will know that they can rely on you.


You have to really enjoy your work and to be committed to it. This doesn’t mean that you have to practically live in the office: no, simply finding ways to make your work more effective is enough. If you are motivated and have a lot of enthusiasm, this will most likely encourage your team to do their best too. If you’re struggling with your level of commitment, maybe it’s time to reassess what you really enjoy doing!



Being a strong team leader means being able to adapt. Even best teams have their own conflicts and different opinions and constantly face various problems. You have to learn how to face challenging situations well and listen to other’s opinions (and change your point of view if necessary). This will help you not only to become a stronger team leader, but also to avoid a lot of stress.


You have to inspire others and to do so, you have to be inspired yourself. Don’t try looking too cheerful and excited if you aren’t this type of person: just avoid being passive. Care about your team and your work: believe me, this will be enough.

To sum up, a true leader needs to possess multiple qualities in order to manage a team effectively, build professional relationships and ace complicated projects. Since every person is different, we touched on some general qualities for a top-notch leader, which you can start to develop in your everyday life.

Kevin is a content writer and blogger. He likes sharing his thoughts with people through words. You can visit his blog at or follow him on Twitter:


Servant Leadership: 9 Ways to Be a Better Servant Leader



After a long week at work and a late night serving curry and clearing tables at a BBQ we had hosted for our students, it was 9:30am on a Saturday morning.  I was at the airport collecting some colleagues (that I’d never met before) who had flown into town from another campus for an event that they needed a lift to, 214 km away, off-road.

Your taxi is here!” I happily chirped as I loaded their suitcases into the back of the car.   They thanked me graciously and we talked for the next 3+ hours as we bumped and jiggled along one of the most beautiful typically-deep-red Australian outback tracks to a remote Aboriginal community.  

As we rocked up to their destination, one asked “so what did you do to deserve having to be the driver for trip like this? What’s your role?”.  

“Oh I didn’t have to” I answered; “I’m the Head”.

After overcoming the initial mortification at having not recognised me in my casual ‘Saturday rig’, my guests became incredulous.  “But you’re the most senior role here; why didn’t you send a driver?

Well because I can drive, and it’s an honour to be able to serve you”.  

Great leadership is about service.

Now of course, you don’t have to give your colleagues a 428km round offroad trip to be a great servant leader, nor does giving somebody a lift constitute as great leadership service.  There are many ways to serve others as a leader, and that paradoxically elevate us further as a leader in doing it.

In this article I will share with you some ideas of what servant leadership is, some servant leadership theory and servant leadership examples.

Traditionally, the stereotypical concept of a leader has been of an authoritarian figure.  One who stands ‘up front’ and ‘on top’ (autocratic leadership), calling the shots, giving the orders and telling people where to go, what to do and how to do it.  

In this traditional leadership style, ‘The Boss’ is someone who gives the whole team one thing in common – being that somebody that they can all hate.  

The autocratic method of leadership ensures that leaders get hated for the decisions they make, the tasks they delegate and hated just simply because they are the boss.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.  

It is actually very hard to hate a person.  It is their behaviour, how they make us feel or what they represent that we actually hate.

But as a leader, that puts us in a constantly conflicting position – because we have to provide direction, we have to assure organisational outcomes, monitor performance, keep accountability and deliver information that people may not want to hear – all of which involve the potential pitfall of making people feel like they are being told what to do, managed, controlled and monitored.  Not exactly the ingredients for getting onto people’s Christmas card lists.

As a result, many leaders find themselves facing a crisis, in a position of either doing our job (and making our people hate us) OR, keeping everyone happy and failing our organisation by avoiding being seen as ‘bossy’.  It this what leadership comes down to?!


There is another way.

A way that allows us to actualise the mission of our organisations, to meet and even exceed our objectives.  A way that allows us to do this in a way that empowers our people AND that engenders the greatest level of mutual understanding and collegiality between us and our team.

It’s called ‘Servant Leadership’.

“servant leaders have a particular view of themselves as stewards who are entrusted to develop and empower followers to reach their fullest potential” (Sendjaya)

What is Servant Leadership?

Servant leadership, coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970’s, is a philosophy that centralises the staff and community that the organisation serves as the leader’s primary priority. It’s about enhancing the intrinsic motivation of our people, leading ethically, with wider social responsibility in mind.  It is a people-centred, moralistic, equitable form of leadership.

It is all about sharing the ‘power’ that your role has within the organisation and focuses on the leader’s role as being one to serve the people, instead of the people’s role to serve the leader.

“It is the leader’s role to serve the people, instead of the people’s role to serve the leader”

But before Greenleaf’s writing on the topic, concepts of servant leadership have come up throughout history, especially in religious texts.  In the Bible, Jesus Christ himself washed the feet of his disciples (his ‘followers’) to show them that he considered himself as equal to those that he led, that he cared for them and put their needs before his own.

1. Giving is receiving

This has always been a guiding principle for me and was one of the keys to my rapid business success prior to taking on an Executive role at a university.  

I taught business owners that in order to lead in their industries, it was critical that they generously gave away their best-kept secrets without measure – that the more they gave freely, the more they would get back.  

The more they served their industry and their market, the more business they would get.  

The more they gave people something to thank them for, the more successful they would become.  

I encouraged aspiring professional speakers to speak for free if they wanted to get paid for it one day, and to keep doing it for free even when they were getting paid for it.  

I encouraged educators to provide free workshops and give away free mini-courses.  

I encouraged authors to write for free and give away their books – as all encapsulated a service to their industry and its people, rather than a marketer who wanted to take from it.

It works.

Just like a bank account – the more you deposit, the more you accumulate. People who could never afford you will get to experience you for themselves, they will recommend you and save up for your next offering because the first taste was so good.

Many found this a hard concept to grasp. They would ask me things like ‘but Sarah, if I give all of my information, knowledge, IP and secrets away, surely I’ll lose my business?’.  

I would reply ‘But if they don’t know that you have it then you won’t get their business anyway.  If people get to see for themselves that you acquire the information, skills and knowledge that they need, then they won’t need you to convince them to trust that you have it – there the battle is over’.

For me, I could (and still do) always see two types of people when it comes to service and leadership:

1.       I will serve the people when I am their leader (I serve because I lead)

2.       I will become a true leader as a result of my service to my field (I lead because I serve)

The first type of person is considered as having a goal-oriented motivator of service – there is a motivation behind their wanting to serve.

They come from what I would call a ‘leadership ambition’ standpoint – that they desire to lead and service is a by-product of leading or a means to get there.  And therefore the only reason they serve is to gain the result of leadership.

These people often too believe that they will only have anything of real value to give ‘if’ they become the official ‘leader’.  As long as they do go on to serve, this is not an inherently ‘wrong’ mindset, but it will be harder and slower to get there and they will run out of motivation to continue serving once they get ‘there’.  

It also misses the point entirely that you don’t have to be a leader to serve others; AND that serving others is in fact what makes you into a leader – and keeps you as one.

The second type mentioned above is the person who I always see succeed – what I would call ‘the leader by nature’.  They are not driven to serve by a desire to lead, but instead, naturally, are followed by others due to the service they provide so selflessly.

Inside the workplace, the same concepts apply – leaders are afraid that sharing with their team powerful information like budgets, income, annual objectives, implementation plans, strategic plans, staffing models, operational plans etc – that they will have no power, control or authority left.

But the absolute opposite happens.

The more that people feel like they know ‘what’s going on’ and that you care, the more they feel part of the organisation and therefore affiliated to the mission you are serving.

Share your power, knowledge and information as much as possible – not for the purposes of showing people how clever you are, or how much power you have – but instead to genuinely empower them with it.

Sometimes the true leaders in an organisation – that is the one who the majority trust unquestionably, feel like they have their back, listen to, seek advice from, consider to be the influencer and admire; are not always the ones with a formal leadership job title.  They are the ones who intentionally, or naturally, serve others most.

2. Raise better people

But servant leadership goes deeper than that.  

It’s not just about serving our people so that they can better serve our customers.  

It’s about serving them so that they can become better people – and better servants in the world itself.

Our role as a servant leader is to serve a future of opportunity to our staff – not just within the organisation but for their lives.  

Do we provide them with opportunities to do their life’s best work?  

Do we give them opportunities to grow as people, to learn and develop?  

The freedom to make mistakes without fear but with enthusiasm and support?  

Do they flourish in our workplace in that as the time they serve passes, they become more skilled, wiser, autonomous and better servers themselves?

Joe Iarocci, author of ‘Servant Leadership in the Workplace’ suggests that servant leaders have 3 key priorities, where people development comes first:

  1. The personal and professional development of your people
  2. The development of a workplace culture of trust
  3. An organisation that measures and achieves its results

Here are 7 other examples of servant leadership in action:

3. Commit to good stewardship

Good stewardship in its simplest definition, is taking care of, or looking after something.  However, it also has a more theological definition that denotes that we are responsible for the world and must take care of it for our future survival.

Being a good steward means ensuring the future vitality and wellbeing of our people, our organisation, our wider community and the planet.  

It also means strategising the assurance of the sustainability and operations of our organisation, financially and in regards to all of our other resources.  

Our leadership roles are only temporary, but we must see our service as part of a life-long legacy.

We live in an ever-changing world and it is our duty as servant leaders to be good stewards by constantly adapting and changing for the good of the future vitality of the organisation we work for and the community in which it operates.

4. Our success is others’

Servant leaders measure their success not by their own achievements and accomplishments, but instead by those they are serving.  

In the education sector, this is an easy concept to understand as the translation is fairly literal – if our students are passing their exams, we are doing a great job.  

However, this can be harder to conceptualise in other industry workplaces.

Use your organisation’s’ overarching strategic plan to create a detailed implementation plan that guides your team towards clear, specific and easily achievable tasks that they can move towards weekly – giving them frequent opportunity for a sense of accomplishment.

Find ways to show them how achieving these micro wins is leading them to achieving results that goes far beyond the duties on their job description – that they fulfil a much bigger mission, and have positive impacts far beyond the goals of the organisation.

Scour the internet for awards that you can nominate your team for – and give yourself a goal to recognise all of your top achievers with some kind of internal award or external award nomination.

I also encourage my staff to anonymously send me feedback (via an online form) to praise their colleagues, so that I can celebrate them on behalf of the organisation.  

As servant leaders, there is no success that isn’t that of our teams.  

5. Awareness and foresight

It is critical as a servant leader that we have strong self-awareness to ensure that we recognise how our own behaviours, words and ‘energy’ affect those around us, and the humility to correct ourselves as we go along.

Servant leadership demands that we have the emotional intelligence to notice how our people are really feeling behind both good and bad physical behaviours, so that we can help them.

We must show awareness and remain attuned to the subtle underlying cultural heartbeat, sensing people’s feelings, moods, body language and verbal language used, to pick up on emerging trends and adjust the course as necessary to keep everything and everyone on track.  

We can often critique the ‘jungle drums’ in an organisation (you know, that invisible vine of gossip that spreads ‘Chinese whispers’ through every department and that you are constantly trying to correct?!)  

But it can also be a fantastic source of information – not literally (as the facts are usually wrong), but what people are whispering about can give us insightful clues to ways in which we can help and serve our people and the organisation.

It is also critical that we use all of this information as well as anecdotal, intuitive and measurable from our locality, our industry and the wider global trends, to have the foresight to serve further – to ensure that we can take action for the sustainability of the organisation, to ensure the continued growth and skills acquisition of our workforce to maintaining currency and demand in their roles and to know where and how we could be serving further for the good of all for the future.

6. Be relatable and show empathy

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Greenleaf believes that one of the first steps to becoming a servant leader requires us to be somebody that our staff can relate to.  

However, this is challenging when or if our staff see us as above them, more powerful than them or simply unapproachable.

Having empathy means understanding and sharing the feelings of another.

We should not condemn people in pain, anger, frustration or who act hastily or make mistakes.  Instead, it is our role to understand the humanness of these responses, help our staff to overcome them, provide and implement the solutions to stop it from happening again and then provide them opportunity to heal.

It is also our duty as leaders to foster relatability through empathy.  This is, to help them understand that not only do they have feelings, emotional reactions and humanness that must be acknowledged, respected and cared for, but so do we too.  

It is incredibly easy for our staff to see us as some kind of inanimate machine that operates solely on coffee-fuel and policies.  

We are all human beings who need love, compassion and understanding.

7. Don’t be a martyr

Many leaders sacrifice their own wants and needs for the good of others daily – those who have children are also a classic example.  

Leaders often do it behind the scenes, taking the bullet from their own senior management on behalf of their team, or taking the bullets from their team on behalf of their senior management; working many unpaid hours attending events, pulling overtime and working through lunch breaks to ensure wages get paid and contracts get awarded to keep staff employed.  A little self-sacrifice is required to get anything in life – it’s all part of the balance and is part of being a servant leader.

However, there is a big difference between self sacrifice and martyrdom.  Serve because you enjoy it, because it’s your calling and because it is the right thing to do.  Don’t serve out of the neediness for attention and sympathetic acknowledgements of ‘how hard you work’ – that’s not servant leadership, it’s being a martyr.    

8. Inspiration, spiritual and transformational beings

Being a servant leader is easier for those who can relate to spiritual and creative conceptualisation.  

It requires a futuristic, optimistic, inspirational outlook that believes in the good of the giving of service and gets joy purely from that alone – but also believes that it ultimately leads to transformational outcomes – for the future of those that they serve and the ripple effect of ‘service that will come from those people later on too.  

Servant leaders are innately philanthropic, have a ‘global’ cognitive processing system (that is, they see the much bigger picture) and do not require the acquisition of immediate results in order to ‘know’ that what they are doing is of value.

Servant leadership is about seeing what doesn’t yet exist and contributing all that we have, are and can do in order to support it’s actualisation.  It’s about conceptualising a greater future, translating it into practice and inspiring and persuading others to join us in the service of that mission.

9. Build a community

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

The servant leader believes in the greatness of each individual as much as the greater power and impact of their collective greatness – and that means building communities.

As Maslow tells us, a sense of ‘belonging’ is a critical component of our basic human needs.  Therefore, as a servant leader creating a sense of community, regular ‘communion’, coming together, collegial trust, familiarity and communal safety, is another major responsibility of ours.

People can attain a sense of community by first being given the opportunity to build rapport and know each other outside of their immediate duty-related requirements – such as staff get togethers and activities.  

But this sense of community, belonging and grows when there is a shared meaning, purpose or mission behind getting together.  It can be a s small as raising money for a charity they all agree with supporting, to contributing social change in your community or the goals that your organisation is working towards at a mission level.  

Find ways that you can help your team come together to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to find the commonalities between their most seemingly opposite colleagues and to find shared passions and values that they each stand for.  

The power of one is multiplied when there is togetherness – as a servant leadership, we are the thread to bring and hold them together.  

Never stop serving, and you’ll never stop leading.

About the author: Sarah Cordiner is a Postgraduate qualified education professional with over 14 years of experience as a leader and business owner in the education and training sector. Visit: 

Featured image: by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

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Tips to inspire your team to exceed monthly goals




“The BEST views come after the hardest CLIMBS” 

A safe place is the greatest adversary of any individual who yearns achievement. As a pioneer, do you need your group to fall behind staying in the equivalent bloggage they are cheerfully living in? No right! 

Your group may be able to accomplish more than they might suspect they could, it’s you, their pioneer, who could assist them with understanding their capacities that are past the cutoff points they have set for themselves. To every one of the pioneers who are expecting to support their representative’s qualities by rousing them with the positive and moving group culture, here is a portion of my recommendations that can assist you with keeping the fire consuming in your workers. 

Utilize the word together 

"The BEST views come after the hardest CLIMBS"

The primary thing that you can do is cause the group to comprehend the significance of fellowship. Cause them to understand that the incredible yields are the aftereffect of the joined endeavours of every person. It’s not just around one individual working and accomplishing things yet supporting each other to accomplish the assignment to get the last objective. 

When you are finished with the group holding, it’s an ideal opportunity to make them separately solid. Assist them with investigating their abilities and develop them past the desire. Keep a track on every one of their advancements and give them how placing in somewhat more exertion can extend their latent capacity. Doing this would give them the vitality to perform better for themselves just like the group. 

Work keen, not hard 

Appropriately executed work with less exertion and time is the thing that we call a SMART WORK. Truly, in the period where there are an extreme challenge savvy labourers will in general win instead of the person who is working harder every day to accomplish objectives. 

You have defined a particular objective for the group to accomplish, so as to propel them to accomplish more than what is chosen, you must be their guide through their way. Talk about with them, ask them their conclusions, locate a more astute way out to the accomplishments. Request that they set their work and the cutoff time restricts somewhat less than the real. Like if its for 4 days, attempt to finish the work in 2-3 days yet utilizing the most brilliant choice from the talked about ones. 

Show them the broader aspects of the achievements 

Your representatives may be controlled from the information that you are available to. Like you maybe knowing the level at which the others in the specialty are working, so you can all the more likely comprehend the requirement for additional endeavours that your group requires to pick up a similar level. 

Request that they collect once every week, show them the more extensive part of the work they are doing and how their battle can transform them out into an extraordinary thing. Show them the instances of the individuals around that you have experienced to get this comprehension. This will assist them with the understanding that there is a more extensive space out there which is unexplored and unconquered. 

Never satisfy

“A fulfilled soul never develops” this basic maxim is all you have to let them know.  Simply getting happy with what you are doing won’t take you where you dream. An additional exertion is a thing that you have to get to those phenomenal dreams. Fulfilment comes when one acknowledges its very own capacities of getting things done and wants to work more on it. 

Be a pioneer, never let your group get happy with their accomplishments, when they accomplish their transient objectives approach them to make progress toward the following one or simply grow their objectives to get some productive outcomes which aren’t only a number yet their improved ability to accomplish more in less time. Here I am not instructing you to pressurize them with the remaining burden, yet acquiring the energy to accomplish a greater amount of what they are getting a charge out of. 


There is an internal quality that everybody has that encourages them to break their own records. Being a pioneer, it’s your obligation to draw out their shrouded gifts and capacities. Following the previously mentioned strategies or actualizing some dexterous group building exercises can assist you with getting the best from your group. 

Regardless of whether it’s the individual life or the expert work-space where there is constantly a cutoff time holding tight the head. “Take a stab at additional” is the sort of mentality that can take to the ideal statures.

About the Author

James Vargas is an experienced business expert, startup business consultant, and manager at Get Everything Delivered. With the 1.5-decade corporate experience, he is now sharing his guidance to start-ups to grow with corporate team building activities and project delivery solutions.

Photos by Nicholas Swanson You X Ventures on Unsplash

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Life Hack: Use Public Speaking to Improve Your Life



Public speaking is undeniably one of the greatest tools that can help us achieve great things in life. But despite the fact, we know how speaking in front of a crowd can be a whole lot scary. That’s why we compiled this list — a summary of ways on how public speaking can improve your life — as a way to motivate you in working towards developing your public speaking skills.

Improve your self-confidence.

Everyone, including us experts in the field, has his or her fair share of nerve-wracking experiences when it comes to communicating to the public. But the thing is, we cannot really avoid these situations if we want to be successful in life.

Public speaking helps increase the level of your confidence. Being able to overcome your fear is a very powerful thing to accomplish. It boosts self-confidence not just in facing a crowd, but also in smaller situations like talking on the phone, introducing yourself to a possible business partner, nailing an interview, or even doing a small talks in parties.

Succeed in your career.

Probably one of the most beneficial area in your life is your professional career, and it can actually help you in many different ways more than one.

If you are a salesperson, good public speaking skills can help you become more persuasive and give you better chances of closing a deal. If you are an aspiring executive, great communication skills can help you be easily remembered as a thought leader. And the benefits of this life hack goes on. Needless to say, public speaking is one of the most important skill to work on if you want to successfully climb the corporate ladder.

Becoming a better leader.

Do you notice how big bosses are so good in public speaking? Because yes, it is imperative that you are a great speaker when you have people under your umbrella. As a leader, your job is to give direction to your team. And as you go on fulfilling this role, you have to have a good public speaking skill.

When you are able to communicate confidently, clearly, and effectively, people will be keen on following you.

Improve your relationships.

Whether you are thinking of your family relationships, romantic relationship, or work relationships, public speaking has a way of improving all these. We all know too well how a good communication builds a sturdy foundation for a long lasting relationships, right?

Being a good public speaker gives you the ability to control your thoughts and emotions before letting a word come out of your mouth. Knowing the right words to say at the right moment and the moment to best to speak can really go a long way in avoiding misunderstanding and expressing what you really want to mean.

Influencing other people.

If you want your thoughts to be heard, one of the best ways to do is to start get it is by honing your public speaking skills. Think of it, you are presented with two salesman offering a certain product. If you had to pick one, which one would you choose? who are you most like to choose — the so-so speaker who read through his deck the whole pitch, or the better one who stood confidently and seems to know every word that came out of his mouth?

You see, it doesn’t only apply in the corporate setting. Being a good speaker can also you influence other people easily with regards to your beliefs or  a brand you’ve been advocating. Good communication skills give you the ability to drive change.

So hey, don’t let fear hinder you from experiencing all these great life hack opportunities. Take a bold step in honing your public speaking skills. Later on you will thank yourself for being able to enjoy the fruits of your public speaking skills.

Author Bio: Clement Chio is professional communication coach and the owner of Speech IONIZERS – a company aiming to be one of Asia’s leading professional development institutions and the authority in public speaking.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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