Backstage Interview: Build A Team of Leaders

Is developing independent leaders one of your team-building objectives?

Summary
Transcript

In this exclusive interview from Leadercast Live, Mayor Aja Brown shares real solutions to team building; her guiding principle is to focus on developing a team of independent leaders.

"At the end of the day, the work has to get done," says Mayor Brown, and the best way to make that happen is to encourage ownership and grow leaders who are capable, resilient, independent, and trustworthy.

Another key is, she says, is to help people on your team learn to look at all the resources at their disposal to solve a challenge -- and to keep looking instead of giving up. Building a team of leaders helps organizations innovate and grow because everyone has a personal stake in the success of the company and its mission.

Discover additional insights about building a team of leaders in this backstage interview with the youngest elected mayor of Compton, California, Aja Brown.

One thing that I guess I say on a continual basis to my staff and my team is that we have to get the work done. There are no excuses. Regardless of the challenge or the obstacle, we have to get it done. Failure is not an option and I think that it makes you find different ways to do different things. That's one of the things that my mother raised me to do was to use your own brain.

So before people bring problems to me, I want to know have they exhausted all the areas that they have in their reach to find solutions because I have to use my brain for me and I think that the strength of the team is that we're all doing the best that we can with what we have. I really impart to them that, look, you have to be able to make things happen with every resource that you have within your ability before you bring it to me because that means I'm going to have to stop what I'm doing to be able to solve your problem. So I was raised to always use my own brain.

So I impart the same thing to my team and I tell them it's okay to make mistakes, but we're going to have to make it happen. And you have to be able to persevere. It's about being resilient and it's about really being focused. It's all the things that you need to really be a disciplined leader. And I think that that's really critical. I'm really focused on always building leaders and I don't want a team of followers. I want people that can operate independently. If I die tomorrow, I would anticipate that the work should continue. And so that's really my message, that you have to be able to do what I can do.
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Aja Brown

On June 4, 2013, Aja Brown made history as the City of Compton’s youngest elected Mayor at the age of 31. With over 10 years of experience in community and economic development, Mayor Aja Brown has proven to be a strategic visionary c...

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