Tips to Align Your Leadership to What You Think, Say and Do
At MAP, we talk a lot about alignment between you and your direct reports. And we also focus greatly on the alignment around your organization’s Vital Few, or those goals around which you build accountability and drive consistent, positive, productive results.
But today, we want to shift the focus, turning “inward” to explore a different kind of alignment. And that alignment is one that’s between your leadership and what you think, say and do. It’s an important topic, too, because the leader you think you are—or have set out to be—is and will continue to be defined by your mindset, words and actions. (And believe us, your team members are paying attention!) All three of those factors, particularly how well they are aligned around your role, can make or break your leadership success. Use these proven tips to support that alignment relative to what you think, say and do:
Commit to a leadership mindset that reflects your leadership values. As you know, truly Disciplined Leaders make an effort to identify, understand and even update their values. (The latter is key because sometimes values do change.) These guideposts reflect core beliefs, representing the unique fingerprint of the organization. And values do matter, particularly come decision-making time and navigating new directions.
Interesting fact: MAP has found that one of the top reasons CEOs struggle in their roles relates to issues around values. When their own values don’t align with the company’s values, challenges erupt. Our advice: Stay in tune with your values at all times. And if you need guidance in uncovering, defining or updating them, MAP’s customized leadership development, executive workshops and executive coaching have helped 170K+ leaders since 1960.
Practice a communication style that mirrors your mindset, beliefs and vision. This means, for starters, practice common sense. Really think before you speak, email, text, post, etc. With important communications and conversations, plan and practice what you’re going to say or state. Keep language professional and mindful, avoiding off-color jokes, swearing and careless language impulses. Great leaders learn how to curb these temptations or casual tendencies, using creativity and sensitivity to hit vital communication goals. Don’t say anything if you have doubts. Rethink your message, then speak. Keep in mind the saying: “There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth.” Talk less, listen more.
Set and check your actions against your leadership focus. As a leader, make sure you’re taking the time to regularly assess how your behaviors and actions support (or undermine) your efforts and impact as a leader. Using the MAP Management System™, build alignment between your focus and actions, orchestrating and executing culture-wide goal-setting, activities and achievement. Use accountability, or what we call “Goals and Controls,” to drive execution and sustain that critical alignment. The ties and synergy will drive results while reinforcing a most important message your people: You’re a committed leader that can be trusted.