I’ve read, seen and heard countless articles and ‘experts’ talk about why there is such a demand for effective leadership in the workplace today. I should know, I’m one of them! And for the record, I agree with all of it. For every piece of literature that I read, however, there is little to go on when it comes to the actual implementation of effective strategies, or the ‘HOW’!
The ‘WHY’ will always be there. There is no shortage young and ambitious new ‘leaders’ looking to make a name for themselves. Eager to ‘make a difference’! The intention might be there, but the defined path is, unfortunately, not well defined. Teaching, mentoring and advising these ‘Go-Getters’ the ‘WHY’ is most certainly a key! However, leadership can be very difficult. Knowing the ‘HOW’ just might be equally as important!
Here are just a few strategies that I’ve personally used and saw significant positive returns. I would encourage you to do the same!
How well do you know your team? How well do they know you? Do you know what their goals are? Do they know what your goals are? These questions are critical if you want to lead your teams effectively. To earn trust and respect, your teams need to know that you trust and respect them. The number 1 way to do this in my opinion is by scheduling one-on-one meetings with each and every direct report, as early in the process as possible.
Get to know your team more than what they come to work to do each day. Are they married? Do they have kids? More importantly, what are their career aspirations? You also need to be open to direct inquiry from them. Be transparent! Make a point to allow for this exchange. If you are new, I guarantee they will have many questions about you, your background, qualifications to lead and where you plan on taking them.
Once you are on the same page with your team in this way, it then allows for the ‘WHY’ to kick in. Clear, open, and transparent communication in a more comfortable and inviting environment. The trust that you have begun to build will be realized when things may go a little sideways. When your team knows you are working to achieve their goals, that respect and ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude kicks in.
Did someone say ‘CULTURE’??
Employee Development & Career Advancement
John Maxwell, a well-respected leadership expert has been quoted as “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” -John Maxwell
I could not agree with this more!
Now that you’ve had a chance to sit down and meet one-on-one with each member of your team, understand their hope and dreams for their future, it’s part of your job to make it happen! Oh, nobody told you that?? Sorry, it’s not all crunching numbers and submitting budgets and forecasts!
I believe that one of the most important roles of a leader is to create more leaders! You can do this by encouraging those who have expressed interest in leadership or have shown potential and get after it! Enroll them in employee development programs that your company may offer. Search for outside workshops or seminars on their behalf, enroll them!
Put your money where your mouth is and prove that you ‘have their back’ and that you are looking out for them and their future.
There is no greater reward than to help and to see someone succeed and achieve their goals!
The Daily Walk
Are you glued to your seat from the minute you get into the office until you leave to go home each and every day? Are you visible? Do people think you are ‘The New Guy/Girl’ each time you peek your head out? Ugh, not good!
You need to get out of your office! Each and every day, walk the workplace, the shop floor, the cubicles, regardless of your workplace, you need to be seen and you need to interact with your teams. This is what relationship building is! Trust-based, critical relationships with those you count on day in and day out does not happen through closed doors! As a leader, you need to be where your teams are, talking and asking questions, what are the concerns, what’s going well, what’s not going well? What’s for dinner tonight? What time does little Suzy have practice?
Make sure everyone knows that you are not just the leader of the team, but also part of it! Show that you care about what they are doing every day, but also what they are doing after the day is over. Small talk does big things!
Flipside of the coin, maintain an open-door policy. Even though you are now getting out of your office, encourage your teams to come to you and feel comfortable to knock and enter your open door anytime they feel like they need to.
This one’s a ‘biggie’ and you need to get this right! Going out of your way to say, ‘Thank You’ and appreciating a job well done is a cornerstone for any leadership strategy. It can also take many forms. The beauty of this is, there really is no right or wrong way, just do it!
Whether is a pizza party, dinner after work on a Friday, Gift Cards, Employee of the Month, etc., saying ‘Thank You’ for working hard, going the extra mile, hitting the impossible deadline or milestone, it pays incredible dividends. Oh, and by the way, it’s just the RIGHT thing to do!
It also symbolizes sincere appreciation for being a great group of people and that you recognize not just that, but how well they work together as a TEAM. It builds cohesion, community and comradery so that the next time you and your team’s backs are against the wall, you can trust that they will come through as that appreciation for their efforts will be there!
I think I heard that ‘CULTURE’ word again!?
Coach, Teach and Mentor
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” –William Arthur Ward
The role of a Leader can be vast. Sometimes you need to close the spreadsheets, the CRM, cancel the meeting that should have been an email and focus on your employees. I truly believe that leaders should always be coaching teaching & mentoring. After all, you were put there for a reason! Be a positive influence in your team’s lives each and every day. Whether its handling difficult workplace situations, getting ahead in life or career, dealing with a coworker, reviewing a boring SOP, discussing something personal, or just to be there to lend an ear. Just be there!
If you are in a position to share your experience with others, you have a responsibility to do just that. That’s what leadership is all about! CARING for others in a way that THEY are the focus. The day that you become a leader, it is no longer about YOU, it is all about THEM.
If I could sum up ‘HOW’ to lead in 1 word…CARE!!
Have you read?
Turkey Citizenship By Investment Program, Moldova Citizenship By Investment Program, Vanuatu Citizenship By Investment Program, St. Lucia CIP: Saint Lucia Citizenship By Investment Program, and The Montenegro Citizenship By Investment Program.