The modern workplace, a culture-driven product of the digital era, has spawned the need for businesses to rethink their organizational structure. From a productivity and engagement perspective, traditional managerial techniques are creating inefficiencies in workflow and depleting workplace morale. When disentangling the characteristics of a sound business management model in this new generation, one crucial theme prevails: Leadership.
While history is replete with impactful leaders, many organizations are struggling to translate those successes into their current management strategy. Thankfully, strong leadership is a trait that can be learned, and over time, it will become as instinctual as breathing.
As Robin Sharma, well-known leadership speaker says, “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”
By implementing some of the following fundamental qualities that successful leaders exhibit, you can increase employee retention, foster a positive brand image, and accelerate the overall growth and profit of your organization.
Give Feedback & Reward Performance
Impactful leaders have more than just a high-level understanding of how their organization is performing. They have drilled down to the individual level - measuring ROI, capturing performance, and saluting colleagues for a job well done. Rewarding consistency and successes will cultivate an environment that praises individual contribution. It also illustrates the value the organization places in its employees. Likewise, providing continual feedback – good or constructive – will show employees that you are committed to their professional growth and career progression.
Create a Safe Space for Employees to Voice their Opinions
Intimidation as a means for prompting action is a poor way to earn respect. If your voice is constantly laced with the melodic rumble of an imminent tongue-lashing, employees will avoid communicating with you at all costs. Successful facilitation of communication will not only enhance clarity surrounding the project or task at hand, but your efforts will also elevate productivity. Accomplished leaders have mastered the art of framing an environment where individuals feel safe to voice their opinions. Encouraging employees to share ideas, versus wincing at the sound of your approaching footsteps, is the number one catalyst for empowering team members and inspiring innovation.
Hone in on decision-making skills
Accomplished leaders will approach the decision-making process in a strategic manner, resolving issues promptly in an effort to avoid diverting attention from larger pursuits. They thrive in high-pressure situations and can arrive at an amicable solution quickly. Successful decision making is done with the intent of facilitating progression. This includes delegating assignments properly to avoid depositing a heaping pile of stress on any one individual. In the larger employee ecosystem, effective leaders will encourage team members to mirror their decision-making abilities so they can reach conclusions on their own.
Challenge others without being combative
Many managers fear growth and development initiatives, branding it as a cumbersome endeavor and ignoring the ramifications it could potentially pose in the future. A true leader is skilled at identifying their team’s strengths and weaknesses, and challenging each individual to push boundaries and extend beyond their comfort zone. Leaders provide their team with the resources necessary for mastering new concepts. Regularly feeding the mind with new information will spark creativity and avoid falling into complacency.
Be an avid conversationalist
Leaders recognize that their team is not some robotic assembly line programmed to perform the same repetitious task day in and day out. Rather, they lead their team through a labyrinth of short-term and long-term goals, prepared to tackle headaches and hiccups that will require reworking their strategy along the way. Communicating expectations encourages accountability and will ensure the fluid execution of work moving forward. Active communication will maximize performance and quickly weed out individuals who wind up not aligning with the company’s overall vision.
Don’t stop seeking guidance or teaching others
It’s impossible for one person to have all the answers. Great leaders relish in the opportunity to learn and recognize the power in asking others for advice. This will filter down and set an example for employees, demonstrating that you place a strong emphasis on expanding knowledge and skill sets on an individual level. Over time, many people in a position of authority abandon their post as teachers. Successful leaders, however, are constantly educating themselves and therefore understand the importance of imparting their wisdom on team members. Interacting with colleagues in a mentorship capacity is a great way to aid in their advancement and ensure that growth is trending upwards.
Leaders are compelled to help others succeed and take pride in their ability to inspire greatness. Leaders do what they do because of the impact they have on the direction of the organization and not because they have a thirst for power. By practicing the above techniques, you’ll breed positivity in the workplace and be respected among your colleagues. Our ever-changing office landscape is now calling for this type of leadership in place of old world managerial tactics in order to establish a workplace built for success.