Lessons from Iowa: Why team leaders should be team players too

This week our President of Americas, Swinda S. Piquemal, shares her thoughts on the start of the Presidential Election race, and what it means for business leaders everywhere.

After months of build-up, the American Presidential elections for 2016 are finally underway.

On Tuesday, the Iowa caucus, the first significant date in the elections calendar, took place. Normally a low key, agricultural state, Iowa finds itself the subject of the world news spotlight every four years as the first to announce its vote for the Democrat and Republican candidates.

A somewhat convoluted process, each party has different conventions for determining its leader in the state. Essentially, though, registered members of each party turn out to actively debate and rally for their preferred candidate, until one emerges their nominee for the leadership. The caucus is different from other voting processes in that it asks much more from the Iowan constituents than a simple tick in a box, instead requiring them to vote with their feet by turning out engage with and advocate for their candidate of choice.

It’s an impressive display of commitment rather alien to the rest of the world and demonstrates how immensely powerful having the support of your people can be.

For Iowa winners Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, their mandate and ability to lead came directly from the ranks of their respective parties, and the same is true for business leaders of all kinds. Big or small, employee and brand advocacy is vital to every business if leadership is to operate effectively.

This is why we at Sage People encourage an inclusive company culture that involves our employee base at every level of the business. Last week, we celebrated our annual Company Kick Off, an intense three days over which our staff were encouraged to come together in team building exercises, talks and business workshops. Building a collective team identity not only encourages your employees to engage more with their work, but with the company as a whole, making it much easier for the C suite to lead.

Being a leader means being a team player, too, which is why everyone from our newest recruit to our CEO joined forces at the event. It was a great chance for all of Sage People to come together and communicate, building a culture based on feedback, support, innovation and inclusivity.

Maintaining that culture is why we believe HR technology is so important. A HRMS like Sage People enables more effective and responsive performance reviews, career development and talent management plans, which allow team leaders to be an active part of growing team members personally. Gaining better workforce visibility and understanding avoids the ‘them and us’ mentality many businesses struggle with, instead empowering leaders to see, share in and utilize the skills and strengths of their team.

We got some great pictures of the team at the event, and who knows? Perhaps some of them could be future leaders themselves…

Sage People Kick Off

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