Three Ways to Always Be Your Leadership Best
When it comes to being a leader, there’s a lot of pressure to perform, pressure to perfect, and to always know the “right thing to do.” But we all know nobody is perfect—including the most revered of leaders – especially when faced with uncharted territory. So while it’s realistic for you, as a leader, to focus on improving performance, it’s far from realistic to expect perfection from yourself, those you lead, or your organization in general.
That said, if you want to have an impact through your leadership, strive to be the best version of yourself, role-modeling that version within your company culture. Try three tips to being your best leadership self:
1. Know Your Vital Few. At MAP, we coach clients on becoming Disciplined Leaders, or those who consistently excel at using the right mindset and actions to achieve results. This is done by focusing on the Vital Few and ignoring the trivial many, a model of leadership that’s based on the Pareto Principle, commonly known as the “80/20 Rule.” Using this model, you focus on the 20 percent of activities that drive 80 percent of results relative to three core areas of leadership: leading yourself, leading your team (or direct reports) and leading your entire organization.
2. Stay the Course. One of the obvious responsibilities of leadership is developing your organization in a way that it executes strategies successfully. This means staying focused on those Vital Few, avoiding distractions, and effectively managing any resistance that could derail success.
Choose the right strategies to support those Vital Few, developing a one-page company plan that lists your strategies. Demonstrate self-accountability, sharing and monitoring that progress with your team. Also, be mindful of how too many ideas and strategies can get your off-course of your Vital Goals. Choose activities you know are realistic, and always have a contingency plan ready in the event of internal or external threats. Use it to respond to threats, course correct, or (if truly necessary) change course altogether.
3. Value Your People. Leaders who are all about themselves tend to struggle in countless ways. No question, one of their biggest challenges revolves around sustaining the respect of their employees. In cultures where employees don’t respect their leader, morale, productivity and performance suffer. On the flip side, in cultures where employees feel valued by their leader, they are highly motivated to perform and deliver consistent results, relative to individual and organization goals.
To get your goals accomplished, you must have a team of people who work well as individuals as well as in a team. Now is a great opportunity to listen to your employees’ ideas and any concerns, invest in training and resources that support them, and celebrate successes with rewards and recognition. Doing so will not only bring out your leadership best, but will also communicate clearly how much your value your team.
What challenges distract you most from being your leadership best?