If you have a team (and that might be of employees, contractors, or even associates), there is one thing, above all, that you must do with them. What are the important things a team leader needs to do?

What would you add to this list, which of them are you best at and which do you need to spend more time doing? There are guides to each of these in our library that you will find helpful, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required). It’s interesting asking a range of people, they come up with different answers and also different answers at different times in their careers.

I’d argue that none of these are the one most important thing you can do with your team.

Customers second

The most important thing you must do for your team

Assuming you need your team to be able to do things for you and that you don’t know everything that will ever happen (unless you have a crystal ball) you need them to be able to interpret any given situation and act in the appropriate manner.

In that case clearly communicating your priorities, helping them understand what’s most important to you and your firm might be the most important thing. What do you think?

That was obvious, so what?

The key in the sentence above was clearly communication. Suppose I said looking after clients was really important, but something else was more important; would you act differently?

The picture below is a real picture from a real office, with a real team – who were very confused, weren’t as effective as they might have been and there was also a massive staff turnover.

Can you spot the problem? To me saying customers first, means customers first – putting something else at the top of the list is saying don’t put customers first. So, hand on heart can you say all your team communications don’t suffer this lack of clarity? If you’re really sure that your priorities are clear, why not ask your team?

Customers second

Team meetings

One great use for a team meeting might be to find out what your team thinks the priorities are and get feedback. It doesn’t matter what you’ve said to them, it only matters what they’ve heard and do as a result. Download our guide to more effective team meetings, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

I wish I would say that wasn’t a real poster and didn’t really reflect how this company acted; but…….

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access