In honor of baseball season beginning, let’s talk about how great leaders always seem to “take a hit” for their team. In baseball, “taking a hit” for the team can take on a few different meanings, such as a player getting hit with a pitch when the team needs base-runners, or taking a bouncing ground ball off the chest to stop it. In any case, it involves sacrifice on the individual player’s part, for the team as a whole—the bottom line is they take the pain to ensure they put the team in a position to win the game. In the same way, great leaders risk pain at times to ensure the team succeeds.
Here are Ten Ways Great Leaders “Take a Hit” for their Team:
1. Great Leaders Stand Up for Their People
When an individual on the team has a bad day, a great leader will stand up for them to the customer/client and explain the situation. The great leader will always be there for their people to pick them up.
2. Great Leaders have a Spine
A leader with a “spine” isn’t worried about making a decision when the stakes are high, even if it means they are risking their own hide. There’s nothing worse than a “spineless” leader—one that never makes a decision or not willing to lead when needed most.
3. Great Leaders Protect
Great leaders are always there to protect their people when needed. This could be in a safety situation, from a disgruntled customer/client, or from top management. Great leaders can be counted on and are trusted. The team feels safe and secure at all times under a great leader.
4. Great Leaders Take Responsibility
When times get tough and things go terribly wrong for the entire team, great leaders always take full responsibility for the actions of the team. Leadership without responsibility is simply nonexistent!
5. Great Leaders Pick up the Slack
Great leaders are always willing to step in and help out by lending a hand when the team is short-handed or overwhelmed with work.
6. Great Leaders Train Their People Accordingly
Training can be tricky because different employees may require different training techniques… great leaders recognize the need for personalization to ensure training sticks. This may include working overtime to work with individuals to set them up for success.
7. Great Leaders Fill in for their People
There are constantly times when emergencies arise with the people on the team, and great leaders are there to fill-in for their people. This ensures people can be where they need to be.
8. Great Leaders risk being Unpopular
Great leaders put their reputation on the line for the good of their people, even when a decision may not be popular—and they don’t worry about whether people will like them for it or not.
9. Great Leaders Speak for the Team
When bad news has to be conveyed, great leaders always step up and pass it along to the customer/client, to save the team and/or individual member the aggravation.
10. Great Leaders NEVER take credit
When the team does something amazing, great leaders ensure the team gets all the credit. Great leaders never boast about themselves, yet always boast about the team as a whole.