Four Simple Ways to Improve as a Leader
Do any of these statements resonate with you?
- I spend all my time putting out fires.
- I’m tired of getting blindsided by missed goals and deadlines.
- I thought I wanted to be the leader but I miss the camaraderie of the team more and more.
- I’m not sure my team really has my back.
- I let small things go that really bother me because people get so upset when I bring it up.
If any of these rang true for you, you aren’t alone. In my experience as a leadership coach, many leaders share these feelings. And all leaders can turn them around by getting support in a few key areas.
In the article, “Decoding Leadership: What Really Matters”, Claudio Fresser, Fernanda Mayol and Ramesh Srinivasan, use research from 189,000 leaders in 81 organizations in 7 industries to come up with a list of the top 20 leadership behaviors present in highly effective, strong leaders. They then focus on the four behavioral strengths accountable for 89% of leadership effectiveness.
1- Problem Solving: If you take the time and have the skills to hold space for tough conversations as a component of the decision making process, you will have better information, more creative and innovative ideas and more buy in and support.
2- Operating from a Strong Results Orientation: It is your role to be a strong communicator and motivator, however you must also be able to hold people accountable and see projects through to results. When I am called in to do teambuilding with teams who are missing deadlines and not achieving goals, I frequently discover a leader who has not yet found the balance between micro managing (viewed as controlling) and giving complete freedom (viewed as being weak). Leaders who practice being maneuvering on the spectrum between these two end points foster accountability and strong results.
3- Seeking Different Perspectives: How comfortable are you in inviting stakeholders to weigh in and share their perspectives, even when you’ve already decided you may not be in agreement? If you are like many leaders, particularly those promoted up through the ranks, you may worry about hurting feelings and alienating friends. The article indicates that leaders who do well in this area are able to invite stakeholders to weigh in and share their perspective, but are also able to stand up and make their decision on strong analysis and void of bias. This is one of the key areas where leadership isolation can begin to set in. Having to stand in your own truth, your own values and your own analysis to make the decisions that may not be popular or impact individuals but in supporting the good of the whole, develops trust.
4- Supporting Others. Are you an empathetic leader or a sympathetic leader? Do you know the difference? Can you truly see, acknowledge and support your team members without getting caught up in emotional fray. Do you clearly hear what they want and need without letting your own goals, interests or beliefs get in the way? By increasing your own self-awareness, authentic and predictable leadership style, you will be better able to support them to grow and develop and do their best work.
Investing in coaching and professional development in these four areas will help you to increase connection, trust, teamwork and collaboration while achieving business outcomes.
Have a struggling leader on your team? Schedule a complimentary assessment call to uncover where to best focus your professional development resources.
Beth Wonson Consulting provides:
Team building, group development and training
Internal and external customer service training
Executive and leadership coaching
In Service and Group Presentations
Key Note and workshop sessions
Coaching for individuals and teams