Have you ever asked yourself questions like?
- What do I need to do as a leader to engage and mobilize my team?
- What skills do our managers need to be even more effective?
- What are the leadership best practices that we need to have in place?
If so, join us for our April 6 workshop: The Work of Leaders: Engaging, Energizing & Mobilizing Your Team. We will be exploring 18 leadership best practices and providing you an assessment to determine the best practices where you are strong and those you may need to develop
Doing the Work of a Leader:
How to Engage, Energize & Mobilize Your Team for Change
It is pretty well accepted in the leadership literature that crafting a compelling vision along with getting staff on board or aligned around that vision and then guiding them to execute on a plan of action to achieve the vision are three of the most critical responsibilities of leadership. And this is especially true in organizations where there is a need to change.
The book, The Work of Leaders by Straw, et. al. and the related Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® assessment looks at 18 leadership best practices using the framework of Vision and Alignment and Execution. We will explore three of those best practices below. If you are interested in discovering all 18 bests practices check out our workshop: The Work of Leaders: Engaging, Energizing & Mobilizing Your Team or contact me for additional options.
Crafting a Compelling Vision
The first step in leading change is to craft a compelling vision of where you want to go. Research done by Inscape Publishing (now Wiley Workplace Solutions) found that 87% of the highest rated leaders created a strong Vision for the group’s future while only 10% of the lowest rated leaders did this. A strong vision for the future helps provide a purpose and it also provides a starting point for goal development.
The first leadership best practice for crafting a compelling vision is remaining open and exploring options. Many leaders have a need for closure and that is a strength in many situations. However, in crafting a vision, it is important to explore options and to resist the temptation to go with the first viable idea. And guard against rejecting an idea just because you don’t know how it will be implemented. The visioning process is a time for looking at “where” and “why.” “How” comes later.
Getting people to buy-in to or align around the vision is critical to success. In my experience, this is one of the areas where leaders struggle most and failure to gain alignment leads to failed change initiatives. Dialogue – that’s two way conversation – is critical to the alignment process.
As a leader, you have had time to process the changes required to achieve the vision and to wrestle with the pros and cons. You must give your team this same opportunity. The first leadership best practice for building alignment is exchanging perspectives. This means allowing your team to ask questions, share concerns and suggest ideas. It requires listening and being open to hearing concerns. You must let people ask questions without shutting them down if you want to build alignment. It sounds so simple yet it is one of the most difficult aspects of being a leader.
Thomas Edison said “Vision without execution is hallucination.” Obviously for a vision to be realized requires a plan of action that is implemented. Alignment is critical to effective execution. Without alignment, implementation of the plan to realize the vision will at best be a struggle and at worst will be a complete failure.
Assuming you have spent the necessary time to get alignment, what do you as a leader need to do to champion execution? I find that many of the best practices for championing execution come pretty naturally to a lot of leaders. One of the leadership best practices where I see leaders struggle is in offering praise. Based on the research done by Inscape Publishing, the number one reason that leaders fail to give praise is that it doesn’t occur to them in the moment. Spend some time each day writing down things you really appreciate your team for doing to move closer to the vision. This will help you develop a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude and it is much easier to offer praise from a place of gratitude. In addition, it is important to identify specific milestones in your plan of action and then celebrate those achievements as they occur. The journey to accomplishing a vision is often long and sometimes arduous so it is important to recognize accomplishments along the way.
Everything DiSC Work of Leaders is a Registered Trademark of John Wiley & Sons Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Would you like to learn more about using the 18 leader best practices defined in Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® or take an assessment to discover your leadership strengths? Join us on April 8 for our workshop: The Work of Leaders: Engaging, Energizing & Mobilizing Your Team or contact me for additional options.
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