Corina Manea

The Power of a Team Begins with Exceptional Leadership

By: Corina Manea | August 23, 2016 | 

The Power of a Team Begins with Exceptional LeadershipI’ve been in teams and managing teams almost all my professional life, back in Romania and, here in Spain.

And every time I could see the same pattern: When there was exceptional leadership, the team outperformed.

When the leader micromanaged every aspect, putting pressure on people, acting uncaring and from a superiority stand, the team was unmotivated, disengaged and would rather be somewhere else, than at work.

Yes, I know I am not saying anything new or mind blowing.

But maybe if we say it over and over again, those in leadership positions will understand that the difference between the failure and success of their businesses lies in a highly motivated team.

It’s all about the people you surround yourself with and how skilled you are as a leader.

Exceptional Leadership Means..

Earlier this month, I was on vacation.

That meant all my work had to be redistributed to the rest of team.

I did my best to leave clear instructions and prepare in advance everything I could, so my colleagues won’t feel a burden during my absence, and of course, client work wouldn’t be affected.

When I got back a nice surprise was waiting for me: Not only all the work has been done flawlessly, but all my colleagues (including our awesome intern) and our fearless leader worked in advance, so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed when I came back.

This, ladies and gents, was a first in an more than 14 year career.

Therefore today, I bring you lessons learned from a fantastic leader and an awesome team.

No, this is not a “let’s pat ourselves on the back” post.

It’s a real experience from which I learned the value of a powerful team.

Clarity and Communication

No matter how good a team is or how well you do your job and how engaged you are, if your leader does not clearly communicate team’s goals and tasks and deadlines, nothing gets done or done well.

Moreover, people become frustrated and unmotivated.

Before my vacation, Gini announced in our staff meeting that I not only was going on a vacation, but that she wanted the whole team to step in and take over my tasks (herself included).

She made it clear it was a team effort.

But by including herself, her message was very clear: We are in this together.

Do What You Say 

You’ve heard or even lived moments when leaders in your company delivered nice, motivational, let’s do it together speeches.

But when it came to the actual work they were suddenly busy.

I know I did.

And let me tell you it’s the number one reason people lose motivation and interest in their jobs, no matter how much they like it.

Since I met Gini, here on the blog, several years back, it struck me that she did whatever she said she would do.

From “I will write about this or that issue next week” or “I will send you what you asked me by XYZ date” or “I can’t do that because…”

However since I joined the team, I am in awe every single day.

I thought I was working hard because I am a workaholic who likes to deliver the best work, no matter the job.

But Gini is a machine.

She hardly takes time off, and she immerses herself in tackling challenges and delivering the best work every single time.

The same happened while I was out.

And you most probably saw it on the Spin Sucks social media channels.

The lesson here: Your team follows your lead.

If you say you are going to do something, and you don’t deliver, you’re sending the wrong message to your team.

Do what you said you would do.

Keep the Team Engaged

We are a virtual company and that comes with its challenges.

It’s easy to engage your team when you share the same office.

Not that easy when your team is literally spread aroudnd the world.

Yet, Gini manages to engage us every time.

I had a blast on my vacation when she tagged me on Facebook for team’s “adventures.”

Every day I was checking Facebook to see what she would come up with, what the team was “doing” in my absence, and read the hilarious comments.

Let me tell you, it made my day every, single time.

Of course there were comments such as “Don’t tag people on their vacation.”

While I understand how it may look from the outside, you actually need to be part of the team to understand the dynamics and see that people do have fun.

We tease each other, we make fun of one another, and we laugh a lot.

Our staff meetings are the highlight of the week.

You never know what to expect and we ALWAYS laugh hard.

Let’s be serious, tagging someone on Facebook to share fun stuff with them is not bothering on their vacation, nor asking them to do work.

So there you have it.

These are the simple, yet great lessons I learned from exceptional leadership I am exposed to every day.

Thank you, guys. It’s a privilege and an honor to be one of you and to share my days with you.

image credit: shutterstock

About Corina Manea

Corina Manea is the chief community officer at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She works directly with Spin Sucks students and writes for the award-winning PR blog. She also is the founder of NutsPR. Join the Spin Sucks  community!

  • Dawn Buford

    Right on Corina! It all starts from the top down. As a leader, you must set a good example for your team and you absolutely must communicate with them – good and bad. We are very lucky to have a highly motivated team that feeds off one another.

    • Corina Manea

      Thank you, Dawn. Yes, we are very lucky.

  • Knowing your boss is a machine, one that puts her heart and soul into everything she does is one of the strongest non-internal motivators for me.

    • Corina Manea

      And this the trick many leaders don’t understand: You have to be passionate about what you do. You’ll inspire your team.

      How do you want results from your team, if you don’t want to put in the work?

  • I couldn’t agree more! Excellent article. And as you said: “…maybe if we say it over and over again, those in leadership positions will understand…” The way our leaders behave absolutely impacts how motivated their team is – or isn’t. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Corina Manea

      Thanks for reading, Laura!

  • Laura Petrolino

    All great points and as you said a clear example of how the leader sets the tone. Our team works hard because we are proud of what we do and are creating. It’s a place where everyone feels ownership in success and that’s because the culture is not one of minions doing the work a dictator commands, but colleagues working together to produce a great product.

    • Corina Manea


  • I love this post, Corina, and it is heart warming (maybe that’s sappy but …. it’s an affirming thing) to see a group of professionals enjoying their work AND benefiting from a great leader. Thx for setting a fabulous example, AD team!

    • Corina Manea

      Thank you for your kind words, Paula.

  • Love this post, Corina! And it’s interesting RE: tagging on Facebook. I know some folks who would flip a table if someone from work tagged them on Facebook while they were on vacation. (hopefully none of their coworkers are their Facebook friends!) But i”m with you—I LIKE seeing fun and keeping connected in that sort of a way. I’d be sad if folks didn’t notice I was gone and didn’t miss me enough to tag me with something!

    • Corina Manea

      But that’s the thing Erika: You are not friends on Facebook with people you don’t want to see or hear about their personal stuff, work colleagues or not.

      If you are, it’s because both parties are interested in one another and want to be connected outside work.

      • YES!!! And who wants to work for and with people that you don’t want to get to know better??

  • Well said Corina! It always starts up top, be it success or failure and it comes down to the quality of leadership.

    • Corina Manea

      Thank you, Bill!

  • This is a great, Corina! Working for someone who is not only passionate about the work she does, but also focused on building a strong team by leading by example is motivating. We are fortunate to have such an awesome team and a leader who understands people, is encouraging, and is genuine. I think great leaders are often teachers at heart and that’s certainly the case here.

    • Corina Manea

      So true, Kara: “Great leaders are teachers at heart.”

  • Lovely post Corina!

    • Corina Manea

      Thank you, Hilmarie!