Stuck in a Leadership Rut Get Inspired with These 9 Steps
Ruts in work engagement happen, but they don’t have to. As a leader in a business world where layoffs, people behaving badly and economic woes are common, it’s even more important for you to find inspiration and to lead by inspiration. Follow the nine steps below to hone your effective leadership skills.
1. Flame Your Passions.
It’s foolhardy to expect you to motivate others when you yourself lack motivation. Do what you have to in order to discover (or rediscover) your enthusiasm for work. The secret could be as simple as taking a vacation or sabbatical so you can regain perspective of the work you do. Other possible solutions are to do something different, both in your personal and professional lives. Join a sport or class new to you. At work, meet new people, and implement small but exciting ideas. Think about your company brand or philosophy. What about it excites you What can you do to convey that excitement
2. Help Develop Potential Everywhere.
Happy and satisfied employees make productive employees. To that end, it is worth your while to tease out their potential in all aspects of their lives. Has John always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail See what you and the company can do to help him realize this goal. Ditto for Mary, who harbors the hope of writing a book. Employees who know that your company recognizes them first and foremost as individuals are more likely to express their gratitude through increased productivity, commitment and respect.
3. Explain What’s in It for Employees.
This step is directly connected to number two above. When you have a radical new idea that requires some pain on employees’ part, you get more cooperation and enthusiasm when you paint a compelling picture of what employees stand to gain. These folks don’t care about shareholders getting more money. Identify what they do care about, such as their families and a work-life balance. Explain what advantages they will gain from a new vision, and you’re putting effective leadership skills to good practice.
4. Plan Boldly.
Calculated risks are great, so go ahead, plan boldly. Enact your vision through concise, intrepid and practicable planning. If you can’t articulate your plan in 140 characters or less (Twitter’s limit), then rethink your bottom line. Even President Kennedy’s moon landing plan could have been written within these limits. This is a must-do for effective leadership skills.
5. Cultivate an Atmosphere of Stories.
Employees tell one another stories every day. Some might center around the hapless boss from a few jobs ago who never got anything done. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, use storytelling to recognize employees. When you see someone go above and beyond and reinforcing the values of your business, recognize that person, and make sure everyone knows. In fact, you should build in storytelling as an official part of the business. For example, have a weekly email featuring a story/employee experience that inspires everyone.
6. Trust and Delegate.
You can’t do everything yourself, nor should you. One big advantage of getting to know your employees as people (see the above steps) is that you’re better able to identify their passions, strengths and weaknesses. Along these lines, you certainly know each person is different. One person works amazingly under time crunches, while someone else falls apart. Another person could be from a cultural background that affects what she does at work, or perhaps someone has a disability. See these factors as strengths, not weaknesses. Know how to approach people. Employees will appreciate the trust you put in them, while you have more quality time to focus on doing what you do best.
7. Practice Integrity.
You could execute the above six steps with precision and still fail at effective leadership skills if you lack integrity. Being honest can be painful sometimes, but the alternative is failure as a leader. Be transparent, fair and candid. Do not favor certain people over others. Follow through on your promises.
8. Be Optimistic.
You certainly don’t need to practice false cheerfulness, but you do know that optimism is contagious. Keep the big picture in mind even as short-term results or the means to reach them involve pain.
9. Invest in Yourself.
Remain ever-curious. Take the time to realize your own ambitions and passions. Enroll in a college course. Read lots of books on leadership. Meet with folks at all levels of the business so that you’re better educated as a person and as a leader. Never stop investing in yourself.
As you look for ways to make all-star hires and hone effective leadership skills, use the resources here at Mighty Recruiter to learn the best ways to do so.