Tips for Game-Changing Leadership
If morale and productivity are low at work - something's gotta give. Your organization needs strong leadership - are you going to be the one to deliver that?
Sometimes it just takes one person to trigger the change needed to turn things around. But if you're that one person, it can be hard to know where to start.
You know where you want to get to - a team inspired to stretch themselves to reach the goals needed to deliver the overall vision. But if you are the one 'stepping up' to take charge, you need a solid foundation to underpin your efforts.
Take the first steps to success by focusing on these six attributes.
You've got to be realistic - the problems with the business didn't occur overnight, and so it would be foolhardy to think that the solutions can be developed and implemented quickly.
Use the time to gather all the information you need. Talk to your team, and really listen to what they have to say. Reflect on your findings, and create thoughtful strategies for moving things forward.
Impactful change requires a lot of effort over a sustained period - this isn't about a quick grab for glory.
You may be the leader, but you are still part of the team. You need to be in there with them, at the proverbial coalface. Don't isolate yourself or they will feel abandoned.
Developing a genuine rapport with the workforce is essential if you want to transform the performance of the organization. Let your team see your human side and you will be more likely to earn their respect.
Your team aren't stupid. They know that there will be ups and downs, so describing the change like a disney story isn't going to fool anyone. You must be upfront and honest with them, thereby setting the tone on integrity from day one.
It doesn't mean you should use them as a dumping ground for all your personal anxieties - they're not your therapist! But do tell them how things are going, whether good or bad and you will gain their loyalty.
Take fairness seriously, and you will greatly increase your chances of success. Once you have developed and explained how things are going to be in the context of the change, try to keep things at a steady state.
It doesn't mean complete rigidity - if the path you follow clearly isn't leading towards achievement of the goals which you have set, then by all means change course. But only do so if it's absolutely necessary - don't just chop and change on a whim.
Empowering your team will accelerate the process of buy-in to the new order of business. Rather than seeing themselves as recipients of the change, they will become the salespeople for it.
Giving away authority for something which you are ultimately accountable for can be daunting, but remember that you're a leader, not a dictator.
Real change can be a long process, but there are often significant milestones along the way. Acknowledge the achievements which have been made at key junctures, and equip your team with the skills to develop practical measurements of the progress which has been made.
Taking stock as major phases of the work are completed, and celebrating the improvements which have been made, will spur you and your team on to accomplish even bigger and better things.
Being a leader means you will be constantly challenged, but with a sound and consistent approach, using these suggestions, you can move forward and bring your team with you.