What steps are you taking so others “want to” follow you versus feel like they “have to” follow you?
Could you be spending too much time on the business content and not enough time coaching, and leading others? Are you working too much “in” the business and not enough “on” the business?
In these challenging times, businesses are clamoring for results. Leaders tend to spend more energy in the business and less time ensuring their interactions with others yield the desired impact. It’s easy to run out of time and short change key discussions that can help others do their job. Acting takes over thinking time and the flurry of activity can feel like you are doing something, but you’re just treading in place.
Savvy business leaders pay attention to their leadership actions. They balance working both “on” the business and know when to and when not to work “in” the business. Experienced leaders know when and how to shift their leadership to bring out the best in others. They realize it’s not a one size fits all. They constantly assess the situation and make changes in their approach. They know when they take care of people, the results will follow.
Leadership is a balancing act. It takes the agility, resilience, and mindfulness to be aware of the impact one’s behavior has on others. When employees feel they can trust and respect their leader, they are more apt to go the extra mile.
Make it easy for others to work with you. To unlock your leadership potential and those of others, consider the following:
- Find the time to think, strategize, and plan. How are you showing up and is this the most effective approach?
- Get clear on the direction, then align and engage the team. Actively seek ideas and solutions from others. Getting buy-in leads to commitment and action.
- Look for opportunities to observe and listen before jumping to conclusions too soon. Chances are your teammates actually hold the keys to some brilliant solutions.
- Be visible and available to remove obstacles and challenges that get in the way. When a leader is engaged, others follow suit. Help others get unstuck so they can use their energy to move ahead.
- Provide positive feedback early and often on individual actions versus waiting for the end result. Seek every opportunity to celebrate the small wins to encourage others to stay energized and focused on the prize.
Make it a point to ask for feedback from direct reports and colleagues to fine-tune your leadership to meet the situation.
The next time you are sitting in one of the many meetings, observe your actions to determine if you are helping or hindering the advancement of the discussion. What adjustments would you make to create more effective engagement and dialogue?
The author of “The Executive Transition Playbook: Strategies for Starting Strong, Staying Focused, and Succeeding in Your New Leadership Role.”