Coaching and developing others.
Creating a culture of coaching elicits frequent feedback fostering honesty, authenticity, and connection. Excellent leaders recognize coaching as an opportunity to develop others and help each employee expand their value to the organization.
Leading high performing teams.
Most progress and innovation is the result of collaboration amongst teams of people. The first element of team leadership is to design the team to match the work to be done. Successful leaders recognize the power, creativity, and innovation available from cultivating high-performing teams.
Giving voice to all constituents.
The benefits of organizational voice and the costs of organizational silence are both substantial and accrue to both the organization as a whole and to the individual constituents and constituent groups. Leaders who embrace and develop all constituent voices enjoy the benefits of robust, timely information flow throughout the entire organization.
A culture of continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement is a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental improvements to processes that improve efficiency and quality. Once an organization identifies an approach, process, or practice that is effective and delivers value, that process offers an opportunity for optimization. Progressive leaders understand and employ various principles of continuous improvement to the benefit of their organization.
Leading and sustaining change.
Successful change leaders do well to strategically position the need for change. Absent the understanding that change is a positive, proactive approach to achieving an intended outcome, it is easy to view change as negative, external, or corrective. A leader’s understanding of the energy and action required to successfully implement change can generate engagement and foster commitment for an organization’s change efforts.
Influencing the organization’s cultural network.
As leaders understand the elements of organizational culture, they can begin to identify various contributing factors including the influence of employees. Leaders who desire to impact culture intentionally seek to understand these factors as well as thoughtfully engage influential employees in service to the organization’s current and future health.
Strategies for conflict management.
Conflict management is a skill that leaders must be able to employ when needed to help foster a productive working environment. Successful leaders understand that there are different types of conflict and employ a variety of conflict management modes to address them.
Attracting and retaining talent.
Leaders do well to recognize the importance and effect of the people who work within the organization. Because highly talented employees have more options, opportunities, and potential employers, creating and sustaining professional working conditions can help attract and retain top talent.
Foundations of interpersonal communication.
As important as public speaking and presentation skills are, one-on-one communication remains the workhorse of information flow in any organization. Leaders can become more effective communicators by being more aware of the links in the communication chain, appreciating some of the complexity involved, and developing their skills.
Considerations for decision making.
Leaders are asked to make hundreds of decisions daily. Some are simple, some are complex, and some are seemingly impossible – all are important. If the sheer number of important decisions to be made were not challenging enough, decision-making is made more complex by a number of cultural and contextual factors. Leaders can enhance their decision-making skills by understanding the importance and potential pitfalls of leadership decisions.
Understanding organizational culture.
Culture exists in every organization. This invisible, but powerful, force is the primary determiner of success for an organization’s improvement efforts. It is the leader’s ability to understand, assess, and positively shape this intangible, but powerful, force that fuels or freezes these efforts. A positive culture can infuse an organization’s work with meaning, passion, and purpose.
Leverage your leadership strengths.
The degree to which a leader knows well both self and others is the degree to which he/she is able to design and act for success—both personally and for the organization. A focus on understanding self and others is the basis for building a culture of trust and developing relationships with pertinent stakeholders.
Through leadership development, executives experience more self-confidence, renewed meaning and purpose, better relationships, decreased stress, higher resilience, and increased focus. Understanding and developing who you are as a leader, as well as learning new leadership tactics can equip you with more robust skills to inspire your team and achieve results. If you lead yourself first, others will follow you down the path to success.