Leadership is an indispensable element of any successful organization, and improving the impact of leadership is essential for an engaged and effective team. Too often, we as leaders are preoccupied with a number of accountabilities on any given day. However, it is worth asking if, and how, these accountabilities are building the future of the organization. Many leaders become distracted and devote their time, energy, and focus to activities that have no real impact on success.
With this in mind, there are key responsibilities for leaders that are integral to positively impacting the behaviour of the team. These four elements will engage the team, encourage productivity, and ultimately support achievement.
Keep the Focus
In our day-to-day work it is easy to get lost in the whirlwind of tasks. There are so many things that need to get accomplished, however, it is often difficult to see how these tasks relate to the bigger picture. As a leader it is important to maintain a focus on those you are serving. Successful leaders regularly ask themselves:
Who are you serving?
Why do you do what you do?
What is the bold goal you are working to achieve?
Furthermore, ask these questions of your team. The thinking process involved will support a focus on the bigger picture and the purpose for the work that is being done.
Set the Foundation for Collaboration
We as leaders need to set the foundation for collaboration by inviting people to come together and have respectful and open dialogues across all boundaries. Leaders cannot achieve results on their own, and thus, need to be connectors. This creates the opportunity for people to willingly come together and commit to mutual accountability. Collaboration cannot be forced, but through leadership it can be nurtured.
Manage Constant Change
We know that change is constant, and leaders are responsible for managing change. Change is typically viewed with trepidation and uncertainty. Leaders can shift the belief of change being problematic to one of possibility. Open your mind to the opportunities that change presents. Encourage your team to reframe their perception by challenging them to utilize this period of change to create a new context that improves their lives and the purpose of their work.
Support the Development of Others
Supporting the development of others requires a high degree of mutual trust and support. Effective leaders know they are responsible for supporting others to experiment, learn, and grow. By encouraging development, as well as autonomy, leaders are also encouraging innovation, higher performance, and meaningful work.