Secrets of Highly Successful Team Leaders
Career Advice,  Leadership

Secrets of Highly Successful Team Leaders

Updated with new content

First Published February 24, 2019

Leading a team is not for everyone.

It takes more than just a title to be a successful leader. With the wrong person in the position, the team’s performance will not flourish. The team will not thrive.

In the many occasions that I’ve had the privilege to lead teams, I have observed that successful team leaders have common leadership skills and attributes that set them apart from the rest.

These secrets are key attributes that will determine a person’s success in leadership roles.

Secret # 1 : Successful Team Leaders want to help team members achieve success

This is an important leadership attribute because the sincerity to help the team members will shine through.

If you want to be  a successful team leader, genuinely find ways to help your team achieve greatness.

It is not enough that you give your team the minimum requirement. This is being a mediocre leader.

Give them your best. And if you do, your team will thrive.

The team will see that you are making an effort and you are not only concerned about achieving the numbers, but also helping your team be the best version of themselves while achieving the goal

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Secret # 2 :Successful Team Leaders care about the overall well-being of the team members

If the leader is only concerned about the numbers and drives the team to the ground while achieving the goal, then he’s in for serious repercussions.

Leaders who genuinely care for their team member’s life outside of work will gain the respect of their team.

Successful team leaders understand that for the team to achieve optimal performance, the team needs life beyond the workplace.

I’ve seen it in the past where the leader doesn’t care about his/her team’s personal life and the performance of the team is mediocre.

One thing that managers forget is that being a people manager is about people. So, interaction with the team is necessary. It needs to happen every day.

More importantly, these interactions will give the leader perspective on the true motivation of the employee. This is crucial as this will help the leader understand how to motivate the team.

Secret #3 :Successful Team Leaders create a positive and inspiring atmosphere.

Nobody wants to work in a toxic environment.

It is the leader’s responsibility to create a positive environment where the team will be inspired to come to work every day.

Here are some ideas to get you started on team engagement and will also improve leadership communication

  • Have a regular team huddle – Set a 15-20-minute team huddle with the team and use this as a venue to address critical updates and recognize small wins. This will start to build the interaction with the team, and you are there to set the tone and pace
  • Have a monthly coffee session – This is a Focused Group Discussion session  where you check in with your team and ask how they are doing. This is an informal session over coffee. This will show that you are listening and will create an atmosphere of openness.
  • Start an engagement committee – this committee will be in charge of planning and executing engagement activities for your team. The committee will help you keep your team engaged and positive towards work.
  • Give thank you notes – This may be old school but believe me, this goes a long way. I had one of my mentors in the past give me one. It was heartfelt and inspiring. I still keep the note in my planner today even if it was given to me over 10 years ago.
  • Recognize top performers and most improved team members – Not only do you recognize the team for performing well but recognize the come-from-behind team member. This will build a culture of appreciation and redefining success as not only achieving the numbers but also progress towards the goal as well.

Want to get more ideas? Grab my 50 Team Engagement Activities Guide to Transform Your Team's Culture Today!

Having an engaged team will fuel your team to come to work inspired and ready to take on more work.

These simple team engagement tips will build a positive work environment that your team will appreciate  and even look forward to while at work.

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Secret #4 : Successful Team Leaders share the credit and take responsibility.

I’m sure you’ve heard about or experienced managers that take all the credit for all the work done.

This behavior will not only destroy the morale of the team, but it will also build resentment from the team members in the long run.

Successful leaders understand that for the team to achieve goals, every member of the team needs to contribute.

And when the team achieves the goal, the leader will not only recognize his /her team but will also share the credit.

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Sharing the credit to the team builds the team’s cohesiveness and confidence. And this will fuel them to consistently deliver results.

This behavior also exemplifies maturity and experience from the leader.

On the other hand, if the team fails to achieve goals or perform then the leader takes the responsibility.

This is ownership and an important value of successful leaders. They deal with disasters and accepts responsibility.

Secret #5 : Successful Team Leaders give their teams necessary skills, then steps back to let them thrive.

Great leaders understand what it takes for the team to perform and achieve goals. This means not only looking at physical resources but also the human resource aspect as well.

It is important to open or create opportunities for the team to practice on necessary work skills to ensure that the team will achieve goals.

Enrolling your team to management training and investing on their learning will not only make the team feel valued but it will also motivate them to do better in their work.

But after all the leadership training, equally important is to step back.

Successful leaders do not hover. They do not micromanage. Instead, they trust that their teams will perform.

More than the skill necessary for the job, it is important to stand back and let the team thrive. This builds the team’s confidence and feel supported.

Secret # 6: Successful Team Leaders do not have all the answers and they are great in asking questions.

Successful leaders know that they can never be the expert on everything.

They ask questions to educate themselves and understand. They are not know-it-all's.

Successful leaders recognize that learning is part of being in a leadership role. They seek to understand first before making a judgement or form an opinion.

When successful team leaders ask questions, it’s not to demean or look for faults. It’s to truly educate themselves so they know how to help the team or reach the goals.


While leading a team is not for everyone, it can be learned and developed. There are 6 Secrets Attributes of Highly Successful Team Leaders. They genuinely want to help their team be successful. They care about their team’s well-being. They create a positive and inspiring work environment. They share the credit to the team. They help their team build necessary skills and stand back. More importantly, they seek to understand first before forming an opinion. These leadership attributes are crucial for a successful career in leadership.

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About Daisy Casio

Daisy is the creator of ChampLeaders. She has a husband, a toddler, a passion for travel and love for learning something new everyday. She writes about leadership, motivation, career tips and many more. Daisy hopes to share her mantra on being positive and living your best self now.

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