Does a lucky shamrock make your team successful? Or is it strong, successful team leadership characteristics?

Most things improve if you run into a bit of good luck, but if you want a great team, you need a lot more than good fortune.

Here are some of the most common successful  leadership characteristics shared by people who have built fantastic teams. They didn’t rely on the luck o’ the Irish at all.

There was a club that started at Acadia University called the Curly Haired Guys Club — an inclusive club open to anyone who had curly hair, liked curly hair or knew someone with curly hair. It was an absolute rage, even made national news, LMAO.

Every year the annual meeting was held at the pub on St. Patrick’s Day. Most people didn’t remember much of these 12 hour meetings, but they sure had a great time. This club wasn’t successful because they found a lucky shamrock, it was successful because they had great leaders.

Part of building a great team, like the Curly Haired Guys Club, requires great facilitators. Great facilitators are the lifeblood of any team.

Great teams don’t just happen from luck, they happen because of the strong leadership characteristics of the people who are driving the business.

Here are some of the strong leadership characteristics that are shared by all of the great leaders we have known:

Set High Performance Standards

You get what you expect. Leaders that are committed to high performance standards within their team create a culture of achievement. The greatest success comes when teams are able to have honest conversations about what success looks like.

However, as a leader, you can’t just tell the team what you expect them to accomplish. That isn’t enough. Those conversations need to continue to be reinforced to the group and they must be backed up by your actions and the activities of the group.

Engage With Your Team

One of the best leadership characteristics to possess is to engage others. The best way to accomplish this is to allow others to engage you.

  • Ask more questions about people on your team.
  • Spend time getting to know them as individuals.

Most of being engaging simply requires being genuine about caring for others.

Take some time this week to grab a coffee with team members and find out about them. Then use what you’ve found out about individuals to drive them to success (i.e. give rewards that matter – if someone is into painting, reward them with canvasses.)

Build Business And Organizational Knowledge

Great leaders have deep knowledge about the industry and the organization in which they work.

Whether you are new to the organization or have been around for years, here are some ways to build on this concept:

  • Read more industry related news and magazines.
  • Subscribe to more professional blogs and twitter feeds.
  • Write more about professional ideas.
  • Share insights and connections from your deep business knowledge with your team.

Motivate, Coach And Mentor

The days of pushing employees to achieve more are long gone. In today’s world, anyone with quality leadership characteristics spend more time on the “pull” rather than the “push”.

This approach sees leaders spending more time authentically motivating and coaching employees towards professional goals, and mentoring top talent.

Take the time to use performance management techniques and technology to your benefit. One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time and attention to others. The outcome will be seen in their desire to create better outcomes for themselves and their profession.

Manage Workflow

People who are known for their leadership characteristics focus on three aspects of managing the workflow.

Take an honest look at who’s doing what.

Often the “prime” assignments are given to the people that are close in proximity or “trusted confidants” of a leader. Make sure that those choice jobs are shared evenly to create better cohesion among the team. This will also reinforce the message that everyone is important in team outcomes.

Spend time with your high achievers as much as your low achievers.

People who possess strong leadership characteristics focus on both high and low achievers.

Too often we focus on our problem areas and neglect our greatest producers. When you can motivate a higher achiever toward greater results, the result is bottom line improvement instead of just a few less problems to deal with.

Let team members know what others are doing.

Another area to focus on is to share with your team “who does what” and connect each person’s responsibilities to each other.

Showing people graphically is often the best way to show how their function connects to the rest of the actions of the team.  This reduces isolation and creates a distinct understanding that what they do matters.

Be A Supportive And Caring Successful Team Leader

Create a supportive team that legitimately cares about each other.

By fostering an environment for caring and supportive team members you champion accountability. Team members who care about each other, the project, the company, the industry, and whatever else they care about take their actions and responsibilities seriously. That accountability results in improved results for your business objectives.


Don’t count on the lucky shamrock to provide greatness for your team. Focus on the leadership characteristics  that have proven to provide success! Get more tips.

gail ramberg

Team Contributor


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