How Smart Leaders Create A Culture of Winning at Work
The effective leader recognizes that they are more dependent on their people than they are on them. Walk softly.
– Brian Tracy
Most of us can think back and quickly identify at least one of our favorite former bosses; certainly, they stand out as much, if not more than, the ones we’d like to forget. But what sets them apart? What specific qualities would you use when describing the perfect boss?
Furthermore, how do we define leadership?
Leadership is a one-to-many relationship, as opposed to the one-to-one relationship of management. There are many skills required to accomplish company goals. So how can a leader effectively lead individuals with different personalities to affect positive, dynamic growth and efficiency? Having studied academically and experientially the dynamics of teams over the last 30 years, I have joined the ranks of many other leaders who understand that it is not personality that ultimately determines the success of teams, but rather the knowledge and commitment of the individuals.
We use DiSC® Work of Leaders internally and through the consultancy and coaching that we provide to lay the foundation for all teamwork initiatives. As strategic, certified partners for all things DiSC® we are able to provide simple, compelling processes that helps teams get real, measurable results, combining three simple steps to achieve positive outcomes.
To be a successful leader, it takes effective communication skills. The ability to communicate efficiently is powerful and should flow smoothly, like building blocks:
CREATING A VISION
DiSC® Work of Leaders guides teams to craft a vision of new possibilities for the future through exploration, boldness and testing assumptions. Vision provides purpose and drives the development of specific goals while unifying your teams. Many organizational leaders who are great at ideating make a fundamental mistake. They have an idea and then go directly to execution. Creating vision done correctly will minimize missteps and false starts by allowing everyone on the team that will be responsible to contribute and expand the vision to include all possibilities.
Working together leaders guide teams to build alignment by brainstorming ideas and then communicating with clarity. Encouraging open, honest dialogue provides an environment of trust and a forum to present concerns as well as expanded possibilities. This step is not just about buy-in. It lays the important foundation of commitment. Once everyone is aligned, commitment is the standard by which everyone on the team will show up every day to every assignment. In our organization we call this being fully vested. There are only two reasons our team doesn’t execute-either we “don’t know how” or “we aren’t committed.”
Execution is turning the imagined future into reality. Leaders are committed to champion execution through by committing to a process of structure and feedback that empowers individuals to capitalize on their talents while “flexing” into areas that may not be as comfortable, but still necessary. We call this “inspired forward motion.”
The role of the leader at every level is to ensure the strategies and people are in place for the vision to become a reality. The most important characteristic you as a leader can bring to your organization is openness. The following list are examples of behaviors that characterize an open, committed leader:
Be proactive, thank people for their feedback;
Ensure that your body language and tone of voice reflect your receptivity;
Avoid dismissing the opinions of others;
Allow ample time for brainstorming;
Commit all action steps in writing.
Lastly, let creativity and inspiration be your guide. Make space in your schedule to rise above the minutia of day to day tasks, including team meetings to open yourself up to let your mind explore possibilities. We believe that mediation is the best tool for practicing the art of “allowing”. We teach workshops around this as well. Continuing to perfect your leadership is a rewarding journey. Have fun in the process, lighten up and enjoy your work.