In the first two parts of this article, I discussed the impact that senior leadership teams have on their organization. The behaviors that begin at the senior leadership team level ripple through an organization, and just like a wave that grows as it nears its shore, those behaviors also grow and get repeated - regardless of whether they have a positive or negative impact on the organization.
In almost any leadership book you read about, you'll hear that having a vision is important. But, for many people, the idea alone is difficult to understand. And, as a result, having a vision becomes elusive.
Getting clear about your vision for the team isn’t rocket science, and most leaders make it more complicated than it needs to be. It is simply being able to communicate the purpose of the team, where you would like the team to be, and how you would like the team to get there.
One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is leading by email (or by texting or by a project management tool or by chat or by some other technology) instead of Leading by Example. They provide feedback by email, delegate by email, and reset expectations over email. Even when their team members are sitting in cubicles right next to them!
Have you ever had respect for a leader whose words did not match her actions? Have you ever had respect for a leader who preached personal values and then behaved differently?
The fundamental component of leadership is People-first™ Factor #1 Lead by Example. This is the core of leadership. This is the component that will either establish or kill your credibility. And if you aren’t credible, you will never gain commitment and trust from your team members.
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I went to the dentist last week for the first of two visits to get a crown placed on a cracked tooth. Honestly, I hate going to the dentist. Don't get me wrong. My dentist is extremely competent, and I trust his work.
The thing about leadership is that its impact is often overlooked. In many organizations it's written off as "fluffy" or "soft." And, it's even less valued in companies where there is a heavy emphasis on engineering and technology. Boulder Denver
The problem with this perspective is that there is a real cost to organizations. The unaware leader who has no idea on how his or her style impacts team members is hurting employee productivity, engagement, and retention more than any other factor.
I have written quite a bit in the past about the importance of providing feedback to team members. In fact, in a recent blog post, I termed feedback as "the glue that holds alignment together."
But what happens when feedback just doesn't work?
When performance isn't meeting expectations, and a team member has been provided with consistent and transparent feedback, the next step in trying to help a team member make behavioral change is constructive discipline.
One of the costliest mistakes senior leaders make is drawing a clear line in the sand between what is personal and professional.
The challenge that this presents is that when leaders don't know their people at an individual level (a personal level), they never truly understand how to "lead" them.
Ahhh overwhelm. It's that moment in time where you feel stuck. Where there is so much going on you don't know where to start.
The stories that play inside our heads are ones that sound like:
"I have too much to do. I'll do it (the important thing) tomorrow."
"There are no jobs out there."
"I don't have time to develop knowledge about new topics, ideas, and legislation"
"I'm not experienced enough for that role"
"It's faster to do things than to train others to do it"