Once you have attained a certain level of performance in your career, you will have the opportunity to become a manager of people. The crazy thing is, just because someone is a top performer in his or her role, this does not mean that this person knows how to lead people. Leadership is challenging. What’s even more challenging is effectively becoming a leader, because this is done by attaining a promotion, which is done by trying to demonstrate leadership skills while not necessarily overseeing the work of other people.

So how do you effectively become a leader? You exercise some coaching! Here are five tips for coaching a team to victory:

  1. Have a vision. Leadership starts with a vision. There has to be some driving force or goal to focus on and the leader will only find success if the team buys in to the vision. So how do you get people to buy into a vision? Here’s a hint: It has to be about THEM and not YOU. What motivates them? What drives them? How do they define success?
  2. Acknowledge ideas. Next, you have to show the team that you heard and acknowledge what drives them, even if you do not like or agree with their ideas.
  3. Tie the vision to goals. After that, you have to tie the vision to the team’s goals and even individual goals. Let the team know they are INTEGRAL to the success of the vision. This is where we should take a cue from athletic coaches; coaches make their teammates feel important, valued and respected. So how do you make someone feel important, valued and respected? You listen, and then listen some more.
  4. Communicate. Here is where most people veer into the wrong direction. The communication process needs to continue throughout the entire project and conclude with a post-project recap of successes and failures. Bosses will boss; but leaders will listen and provide crucial feedback and status updates along the way.
  5. Show appreciation. Finally, perhaps the most critical aspect of being a good leader and something coaches get right, they show appreciation for the opportunities and the team!

So here is your homework assignment: Try to remember the above suggestions and implement them the next time you have a team project assigned to you and your cohorts; and then at the conclusion, get a temperature check from the team to find out if the steps above helped drive the entire team to a victory.

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Shirley Claude is a Business Development Director for Surgent CPA Review. Shirley is a graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and holds a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. Before joining Surgent, Shirley worked in Business Development for an education technology company overseeing East Coast growth.