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Leadership and team performance – connecting the dots.

When we look at great leadership qualities, society often seems to revere confidence and charisma above many other personal traits for achieving success. Certainly, charismatic business leaders, tend to be great ambassadors, conveying vision and confidence in their products and services, that assures an organisation’s clients and team members.

But does charisma motivate greater performance and outcomes in your team?

Whilst charisma does promote confidence generally, it appears the connection between charisma and improved performance of others is not so obvious. In fact, many truly great leaders would be described as modest introverts, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates to name a few. These extremely successful leaders have inspired, connected, and engaged masses of people, rousing action and achieving greatness not just for themselves, but for a larger, and common cause.

So, if you want to transform your people and teams from good to greatness, what type of leaders do you need and how do you identify them?

Leaders of great teams – what do they all have in common?

Jim Collins, respected researcher, consultant, and author of developmental books, including ‘Good to Great’, has done extensive work in this area. He has devoted much of his time to find the answer to what truly makes a great leader.

Overwhelmingly, two key qualities of leaders are identified as drivers of performance and therefore business success:

  • Will – an unwavering determination in pursuit of a cause bigger than themselves, and
  • Humility – to put oneself in service to others for that larger cause.

How do these qualities work? As humans we all seek connection and a sense of belonging – these are innate needs that make us human. When a leader meets these basic needs, teams respond with action, productivity and focus. Leaders who put a vision before personal success and are prepared to support others in the pursuit of this vision, create the sense of belonging and connection that drives others to greatness.

It may sound easy enough but in fact, such a leadership style can go against a lot of what we believe or encounter in the business world. Competitive cultures for example do not foster inclusive, humble leaders. Equally, our sense of self, otherwise known as our ‘ego’, can get in the way, pushing us toward self-promotion. Additionally, being both confident and humble seems a contradiction for many, who see these as mutually exclusive.

How can one be confident and humble?

Confidence and humility may at first seem to be opposites of each other. One could argue, humility undermines the confidence one requires to be a strong leader. And certainly, if leaders do not convey confidence in their product and services, clients and team members will not stick around. However, being humble does not mean that you can’t be confident.

Adam Grant, author of ‘Think Again’ provides great insight into this. He has developed the term ‘confident humility’. Confident humility means that a leader can be very confident in their personal abilities, while understanding that they need other people, resources, and tools to assist them in the pursuit of a vision. In this way, a leader can convey strong will and determination with confidence. At the same time, they are understanding of the need for the inclusion of others, creating the sense of belonging and connection that team members need. When team members are truly connected and feel they belong, they actually want to do what is needed to achieve success. They choose to engage, rather than just doing a set of tasks that have been assigned to them. The motivation is very different, and as a result, team members even tend to display leadership qualities themselves over their areas of contribution.

This is especially important in professional service firms, where your products and services are actually performed by your individual team members. Whilst a single person cannot make a business, they do have the potential to seriously impact your business, if their performance is below par, or inconsistent with the vision and values of your business.

This is your solution to effective leadership

Creating cultures and talent management strategies are crucial today as businesses compete for scarce human resources. Savvy employees know their needs and will seek and stay with the businesses that meet those needs.

The Team at Balanced Scoreboard understand the specific challenges small to medium sized professional service practices face. They also understand the pressure on current leaders to proactively attend to areas such as culture and talent management. Utilising their industry specific know-how can give you the professional edge that attracts and retains quality people.

Contact The Balanced Scoreboard team to find out about how we can deliver and implement strategies for recognising, retaining, and rewarding your greatest asset, your people, to transform your good team into a great team.

For further information, enquire today via

You can also view our Blog ‘Why Balanced Scoreboard’ to see what a Talent Management Strategy includes.