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7 Must-have Qualities of Leaders to Get the Best Output from Their Teams

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This blog is a guest post from Valentina Wilson, it coordinates with Ron Riggio’s interview titled Becoming a Better Leader: Daily Leadership Development that aired on February 9, 2021.

 

“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” — Steve Jobs

The responsibilities of leaders have quadrupled during an era when it has become a challenge to run a business. Covid-19 has brought fresh challenges for the companies. The onus is on leaders and remote workers to keep the business running amidst all uncertainties. But the key responsibility of helping a business thrive during the pandemic rests upon the shoulders of its leaders.

Great leaders can help to inspire teams to give their 100% at work.

Leaders need to instill a sense of courage and trust in their workers. Workers look up to leaders for direction and inspiration. If the leaders are incompetent or do not have adequate leadership skills, then it is hard to get 100% productivity from the teams.

Good leaders can get the best out of their teams during a crisis period. By keeping the teams motivated, inspired, efficient, productive, and focused on work, leaders can help a business to reach the pinnacle of success at any time. Teams look up to their leaders for direction and confidence. They walk on the path that their leaders show them. They watch and observe each movement of the leaders.

Also, leaders act as a bridge between the company and the employees. A great leader can inspire his or her teams to give their best effort during a crisis time and help to bring abundant growth to the company.

What are the great qualities of great leaders that can help to get the best output from their teams? 

  1. Give powerful and inspiring messages to your team.

Employees trust leaders more than the information they get from the media or the government. Great leaders always choose their words carefully at the time of communicating with their teams. They give clear and direct messages to make workers feel safe and protected.

During a period of crisis, leaders give moral support to workers even though they don’t feel confident about the situation. They solve the queries of the workers in the best possible manner to reduce their stress.

Great leaders are always there with their workers during ups and downs. They give powerful messages to instill hope and courage in the hearts of workers and help them shine in their full glory.

  1. Great leaders bond with the team by sharing personal stories and experiences.

Sharing personal experiences helps to strengthen the bond between leaders and team members. It helps the leaders to connect with team members and help to build healthy relationships. They speak about their personal experiences and victories to their team members.

They discuss Netflix web series, sports, personal interests, TV shows, politics, and so on to uplift team spirits. All work and no play make the team members feel bored. Personal chats and sharing of hearty laughs are also equally essential for the smooth functioning of a team.

If the bond between the leader and team members is not strong, then there cannot be 100 percent success. When leaders share their experiences and personal stories, workers feel inspired. They get the strength to collaborate with other members and get the work done as soon as possible.

  1. Great leaders act as a mentor rather than an authoritative person.

Great leaders don’t instruct workers about what to do like an authoritative boss. They act as a mentor toward the employees and guide them on how to finish a task. Leaders share helpful resources with the workers so that they can work on the project in the right direction. Leaders work with employees as a team.

They give genuine feedback about the progress of workers. They converse about the challenges that workers may face while doing the project in the weekly team meetings. Leaders ask how they can help workers overcome those obstacles and challenges. They share personal experiences to encourage workers to keep on fighting to overcome all the challenges and achieve ultimate victory.

  1. Great leaders take accountability for both success and failure.

Workers look down upon leaders who love to come to the limelight when there is a grand success and put all the blame on the workers when something goes wrong. Great leaders work as a team with workers.

They set clear objectives so that employees know what they must deliver. They work alongside the members until a project is delivered. They share both success and failures with the team members.

  1. Great leaders are fair and impartial to everyone.

Great leaders are fair and impartial to all workers so that they don’t feel deprived of anything. If the leaders are not neutral, then the team will not be motivated to give their 100% at work. The relationship between the team members and the leader will suffer, and so will the work in process.

  1. Great Leaders act as a bridge between the employers and the employees.

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to the introduction of work from home policy in many companies across the globe. Millions of workers have been working from home for the last year. Now, this has created a sense of confusion among employees. It has also created a sense of disconnect between employees and employers.

Leaders have a big responsibility here. They must act as a bridge between the employer and the employees. Great leaders communicate the new work from home policy clearly and decisively so that there is no confusion. They answer all the questions of the remote workers patiently and resolve their curiosity. After all, curiosity kills the cat.

Great leaders explain the benefits and risks of the new work from the home policy so that no one feels that others are getting an undue advantage. They work with employers to develop effective strategies to motivate workers who are coming to the office and working from home during the pandemic. They relay messages from employers from time to time so that remote workers get a sense of belonging to the company.

  1. Great Leaders work hard to lead by example and inspire others to work equally hard.

Workers will not be ready to put their 100% at work if their leaders give only 10% effort on projects. If leaders are sloths, workers will also be sloths. Great leaders prefer to lead by example. They put their 300% at work so that the workers are equally motivated to put at least their 200% on the current assignments. Strong leaders don’t believe in delivering speeches only. They believe in action. And that is because action speaks a thousand times more than words.

Final note

Leadership qualities help companies and workers in achieving financial freedom during dark times. The right behavioral attitude, empathy, and effective collaboration, and great leadership skills can help both companies and workers to get financial success in the long run.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Valentina Wilson is a writer. She loves to analyze personal financial matters and help others manage their finances in a better way. Traveling is also her passion. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her blog. She believes that transparency and conversations about money are essential in gaining control of finances.  To connect with her, go to her LinkedIn or visit her blog bestdebtconsolidation.org

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay  

 

 

 

Leaders Must Now Think Like Scientists To Leverage All Generations!

I had lunch with colleagues today to discuss the changes they are facing in their organization. Among the opportunities they see, one stands out: succession  – involving multiple generations and different ways of working into one highly successful organization. To fully leverage this opportunity, the organization will need to continue to evolve their agreements about work processes while holding fast to the foundational principles that have kept them successful for decades.

This is a common challenge across industries. In response to our conversation, I wanted to share this Forbes article (see text of the article below) I wrote in September 2016 and a Voice America interview focusing on Leading with Vision: A Key to Successfully Attract Millennials. 

The reason I selected this combination is, while there are rules of thumb about how to work across generations, every organization is different with specific applications that will work for them. Leaders must take the broad concepts about generational difference and determine which ones apply to them. They need to continually experiment and learn to ensure their enterprise continues to grow and thrive and remains a great place to work. One key for me – everyone in the organization needs to find a common way to work together, this requires give and take from everyone!

During the industrial revolution, leaders managed effectively using command and control and leveraging best practices to solve problems that were common across multiple industries.

Now, however, the most effective leaders work more like scientists. They scan best practices, but also create competitive advantage by creating new and innovative solutions in the face of chaos.

Take Bill, a recent client who runs a mortgage firm in the U.K. June’s vote to exit the EU has thrown the British economy into uncertainty. Rates are dropping and the forecast is uncertain. Bill doesn’t know which direction the market will go, how fast, and what actions will be most effective. He looked to thought leaders before the vote and learned that a true Brexit was unlikely. Well, it happened, and now he needs to move forward and make the best of the uncertainty. The change might even be good for him if he makes the right calls

Many leaders, like Bill, are facing unprecedented challenges. In the past, they could look to best practices and study what others in their industry were doing. Now, in many situations, leaders need to respond immediately, but there is little time to study and no prior model with the same level of complexity that provides a low-risk solution. As leaders, we weren’t trained for this. We were trained to set a vision, build a plan, and work the plan.

With the advent of such changes, companies are responding with strategies like “cross-functional” teams, “early delivery,” and “continuous improvement.” Terms such as “fail fast” — which tell us we need to experiment and learn faster than our competition — have become popular. Learning fast differentiates us from our competitors who are still looking for the best practices. In reality, we are the ones creating the next round of best practices.

But many of us are still stuck between the old ways and new ways of leadership. We haven’t fully embraced what it means to be a leader today and now. First and foremost, we need to rethink our role. We need to change our mindset and behavior from directing to experimenting while realizing that as leaders in complex times, we are creating new solutions rather than drawing from the past. In many situations, history will determine what was right, but if we expect to know it before we take action, we will be paralyzed.

So, what do we do?

One of the most difficult challenges for leaders isn’t changing behavior (that’s the easy part) — it’s changing how we think of ourselves. It is easy to say, “I will act like a scientist,” but when someone comes in with a challenge and the leader has no idea how to proceed, this is a moment of truth. The leader without an answer will likely feel embarrassed and frustrated. The scientist, on the other hand, might actually be excited about the challenge.

As we begin to change our mindset, we begin to approach our leadership as a scientist. Here’s how to get started:

1. Get the best people together for specific opportunities. The members will be dictated by the challenge. It is critical to have people with differing points of view. The people who disagree are often the most important to help identify blind spots and unanticipated challenges. The size of the group and the duration of discussions and evaluation will depend on the time required to respond. The participants should be from multiple geographies, functional departments and organizations.

2. Formulate a hypothesis. The group pulls together all of the perspectives and crafts a clear hypothesis of how to proceed to generate the best overall outcome given the resources, goals and constraints.

3. Formulate experiments. Using the hypothesis as the foundation, it is time to craft experiments that test the hypothesis. Experiments should be designed to prove or disprove the initial hypothesis and give enough information to support taking informed action going forward. The goal is to position the organization to take timely action, minimize risk, and maximize positive impact and learning and scale intelligently based on learning.

4. Conduct the experiment. Once the experiment is crafted, it is time to execute. This usually looks like implementing a well-defined pilot with clearly articulated metrics designed to prove or disprove the initial hypothesis. This is also the opportunity to identify barriers to proper execution.

5. Evaluate, learn and refine. One of the keys to experimentation is to learn as much as possible from each experiment to build success. This is where you will harvest your learnings form the measures as well as barriers or challenges that arose.

I work with a client who formerly worked as a physicist for NASA and now runs an organization heavily impacted by technology change. The culture of his organization is one of experimentation because it is natural to him. When I walk into his office, I see remnants of physical experiments, like a part of a drone, and the tone of the entire organization is open and excited. The physical space is one of the worst I have seen, so it isn’t the architecture but rather the tone of the leader. The leader’s mindset permeates the culture and the organizational systems. People are rewarded for launching new programs and eliminating those that are less effective.

Moving toward this mindset of experimentation allows us to master transformation and build the capacity for ongoing “renovation” of our organization. If this ability to respond quickly becomes a core competency of the organization, because of the mindset of the leader and the resulting culture, organizations are positioned to thrive. For leaders who take on the mindset of the scientist, experimentation becomes fun, they drive interesting innovation, and they inspire others to do the same.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Maureen Metcalf, CEO of Metcalf & Associates is a renowned executive advisor, author, speaker, coach and consultant.