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Updated: Jul 3, 2018

Soft skills become more and more important. Why? People make the profit. Hire a brilliant mind who is actually able to communicate, and you know what we are talking about. They are scarce and worth every penny. High-end synergy coming your way.

Developing human excellence is trending. Get that fishhook out of your lip and take the shortcut. Want to thrive with a human excellent team? Go for some really basic human needs. Trust, loyalty, honesty and patience. Build that team and positive results will follow.

Here's the deal.


Forget lobbying and hidden agendas. There's only one agenda: the company goal. By cutting out any unnecessary management layers within the company, you cut out any diverging (read: personal) goals. In the end, there's the same goal you are heading to.

There needs to be a clear plan who's bringing what to the table to reach this goal. This is what vivacious leadership is about: bringing talents to the table and let team members take the responsibility for their awesome talents.

But.. how?

Jointly define a goal you're heading to

You need all members in, my friend. Meet the complete team and spread your vision. People will align behind the company vision, or leave the company soon enough (otherwise make sure they do). To fulfill the company vision, goals are essential. Compose these goals together and everyone does a buy-in from day 1. From now on, it is never "your plan", it is owned by all.

Pin down who is bringing what

In the meantime, you have probably not only talked about the goals, but also how to get there. Determine at least one crucial task per team member. It becomes their responsibility, their personal contribution to the project. Pay attention to their inspiration and potential improvements. It is up to you to keep the end goal in sight and get the necessary talents and ideas out there.

Work and talk

As soon as things start rolling, make sure you guys talk. Yes, also when things do not work out as planned. Don't get lost in hours of contemplation. Show leadership by organizing efficient and effective progress-meetings. Echo the goal, the tactics to get there and the status of these tactics openly. Iterate the approach as soon as things do not work out. Make sure the responsible team member comes up with replacing solutions, to keep the buy-in going.

Never point fingers

There will be hurdles. This is where the difference is made. It's all about the creative response to this hurdles. When the competition steps down, you persevere for a grand slam. Create a culture in which pointing fingers is unnecessary. Respond honest and direct, without a hidden personal agenda. There's room for failure, and to do so, open communication is key.

Hurray for opinions, let them be there. Never put down ideas, but converge them into the best idea to reach the shared goal. LISTEN. If the team can trust upon being heard and to fully use their strengths, they will be motivated to spread knowledge, inspiration and laughter.


Ever seen someone laughing while he or she did not mean it? Ouch. No good. You can only laugh sincerly when you are totally comfortable within your team. So never communicate solely focused on tasks. Blend in some personal stuff. You can't cut out emotions in life. Your workweek is way too long to act like a 'machine'.

Tell a joke, admit something stupid you've done recently and ask your colleagues to share their greatest thrills. Never judge one about it, feel honored that he or she shares it with you. It might even get you inspired.

It's magic anyways, sharing personal and work inspiration. The moment that feels like you're not 'working', but heading towards something new. Playing a game, brainstorming big time, learning something new together. Surprise your team. No, not on that regular morning.

Surprise them unexpectedly and lead them into something new. Create spontaneous 'time off', without tasks. Let them dream, muse. Ask open questions. Let their imagination thrive and allow them their moment to learn. That's nurturing your team and receiving loyalty in return.


Loyalty is crucial for teamwork. But you don't need a bunch of ass-kissers. That's where honesty comes in to balance things out.

How to build honesty within your team?

Know your response patters

Sometimes, conversations do not turn out as you'd hoped. People do not deliver as promised or act weird. It happens pretty often that you're not completely aware of your own behavior and the responses it provokes. Generally, this comes from old behavioral patterns, imprinted in your daily life. To know yourself, ask your team members: what do you notice in my behavior? Listen and learn.

Set the example

By doing so, you set the example. Eagerness to learn is contagious. It is all about a social ladder you are on. If you do well, by doing good, others will follow.

No diplomats allowed

Doing good is not writing the greatest "I have a dream" speeches. It is about being you, for example telling what is really scaring you. No shows, no apple polishing. Do not sugar coat the truth. If you do go for some window dressing, it will always adjust the given response compared to the response to the real truth. Consequence: no progress.