Leaders have so much on their plate today; deadlines, results, presentations, events etc but it’s important to your ongoing leadership success not to lose sight of a few areas lets call the your 5+1 a day.
If you are not on top of your game very quickly you will start to be seen as the ‘puppet’ a string. You will lose your people and ultimately lose the confidence from those above. Leadership should not be complicated it’s important to keep things simple.
In my humble view, there is no right or wrong way of leading, be it leading an organisation, an executive team, a group of people etc. In my coaching work ever leader is very different and long may this remain. I feel the job of leadership is one of the most challenging and rewarding positions in the world and it’s not only open to the privilege few but to all of us.
But are we potentially losing sight of a few essential areas! A couple of quick fire questions to get into today’s leadership blog.
- are you or have you lost sight of the fundamental principles to leading people?
- are you or have you drifeted slowly or quickly into a reactive list of to do’s?
- are you just pleasing others?
- are you anchored to your values and purpose?
Here are a few things to keep top of mind.
- Helping Others
The job of the leader is far more than just the bottom line, bringing people together and helping them be more successful (period) should be the number one focus of a successful leader. Inspiring them and loving them isn’t a nice to have, it’s a must have if you are going to be a lasting leader.
If you are just turning up and collecting a paycheck, ticking a box and or playing lip service to those above you then my friend it might be time to move on.
Question: How much time in your day are you helping your people?
2. Get out of the way
What is the point of hiring talented smart gifted professionals only to smother that spark in them. Telling them how and what they need to do is the simplest way to see great talent walk out of your organization or team. Great CEOs and leaders who I coach and observe are fully across the detail but are not overbearing ogars. They share the vision, the expectations and then they get out of the way.
- Are you creating an environment where people ‘want’ to work?
- Are you an inspiring leader?
- Are you enabling your people to be better?
- Are you in the way?
3. How are you communicating (not just spoken)
Whilst we are all coming out of a two year cave existence that has involved in most cases a room, a computer screen and a lack of physical interaction we are getting back in front of our people. What are you doing with your body language? Are you shaking people’s hands and embracing those you come into contact with? Whilst it was very easy to zoom out of virtual meetings and tune into something else (maybe the netball or cricket on the screen) it’s wise for a leader to really be present with his or her people. Are you intently listening to the person in front of you?
I recently observed a leader who was a Head of Product and in his meetings he would have 4 screens open in front of him, every few mins a ping would happen and that would indicate a message coming into his system, his phone would regularly ring and he would constantly glance to it and on one occasion he took a call during a one-on-one.
How do you feel that person who’s one-on-one it was felt?
Clearly we had a bit of work to do but over a short period of time and a little bit of direct coaching from me his one-on-ones shifted, gone were the screens, gone was his phone, and he actually had improved his physical interaction that bought the very best out of his people. His improvement was first class and not only was he getting more out of his leadership but his people felt a great deal respected. Hene productivity and results took off.
- What do you notice about your non communication skills in your one-on-ones?
4. A leader should never stop being inquisitive
We have a six year old son (Louie) who has over the last year become verbally inquisitive, why dad, what is that for dad, how does that work, why. I love it.
When I observe leaders and we digest their 360s results (how others perceive you as a leader) very rarely do I see high maturity scores around being inquisitive. Poor performing leaders are not inquisitive they are brilliant at just telling people what must be done and that ties back to my point of ‘getting out of the way’
- Think about a recent one-on-ones or team meetings – what was your structure to running an inquisitive successful meeting, how much of your time is spent telling as opposed to being inquisitive?
5. Are you living your values
Nonnegotiables, what are your core values?
- Are you deeply believing in those values, are you sharing those with your people and more importantly are you actually living by them?
+1 Are you having fun!
It’s written all over your face.
- Are you having fun! Yes/No?
Leadership will forever change, it will feel at times you are hanging on for dear life and other times it will feel like a walk in the park. May I encourage you not to forget or lose sight of the above.
Enjoy leading, it is a privilege.