Part of the first block of the Leadership Development Programme addresses how your leadership style and strategy can impact your team in several distinct ways.
The one universal mantra that holds up under scrutiny is simple enough; good leaders bring out the best in their people. Have you ever heard of a team excelling under a bad manager – enthusiastically racing to their desks each morning to work beyond capacity? It simply doesn’t happen.
Several models exist which breakdown the components needed to create a high performing team, and how leaders make, or don’t make, that happen. What better real-life model on which to focus than your very own workplace? Do your leaders create a positive workplace culture, reward good work and clearly communicate company goals?
The evidence speaks for itself. Organisations with high performing teams are quantifiably more productive and profitable, growing 2.3 times faster (UNC Kenanflager Business School).
Adopting some techniques throughout your leadership career will have a direct and positive impact on all the significant touchpoints involved in developing a successful business. So what do good leaders do to make a difference and get their teams to ‘buy-in’ and contribute to the big picture? Three cornerstones to think about as you continue your leadership journey:
If leadership is the action of leading employees to achieve, then a leader will get more out of their team when they can clearly define each individual’s role in the team, communicate the expectations that exist within that role, and express how that particular role affects the business as a whole.
A good leader will also provide employees with the tools needed to perform. Often this is achieved through communication. Once a team member understands what tasks need executing, it is easier for them to perform duties to a high standard, to meet targets and to deadline.
Being a good communicator is at the epicentre of good leadership. Thankfully, it’s a soft skill which can be learned and which is appreciated by employees. ‘Authentic’ leadership centres on a genuine honesty and interest in giving employees what they need for success.
Leaders communicate through attitude and actions. This may come in the form of visibility – just ‘being there’ for your team and having a presence. Similarly, being able to listen, as well as talk, is a powerful skill to possess, and demonstrates that as a leader, you understand that the employer-employee relationship is a two-way street.
A 2018 survey by Dale Carnegie, an American professional training agency, discovered that employees want to work for inspiring leaders who encourage them to improve, and notice and express appreciation for any such improvement in performance.
88% of employees said they value bosses who listen to them, and 87% of workers said it is important for bosses to show sincere appreciation to their staff.
Effective Decision Making
Good leaders can weigh up a situation and choose a course of action which benefits the individual and the wider business. However, this may not always be the ‘correct’ decision. As a leader in a business, it’s impossible to guess your way to success every time. Mistakes will be made, and intuition is absolutely acceptable in many instances.
It is possible to apply both intuition and reason. Entrepreneurs often work by instinct in the early days, before developing a more reasoned and balanced approach to problem-solving. ‘More complicated decisions tend to require a more formal, structured approach, usually involving both intuition and reasoning.’ (skillsyouneedcom)
There are ways to instil more effective decision-making into your leadership style. Overcoming ineffectiveness, and understanding how the decision-making process benefits your team, is a skill that will benefit you throughout your career.