Good Leaders Drive Results!
By Rand O’Leary
Leaders are expected to be creative problem solvers, challenge the status quo and visualize problems before they occur. Your success as a leader is largely dependent upon how quickly you seek improvement in broken processes, develop new procedures and maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
Below are three tips to help you stay in front of the curve when managing your people and organization through change and drive results:
1. Aggressively Seek New Ideas
Leaders at all levels in the organization should actively be seeking out the thoughts, ideas and creative solutions from the staff who are closest to the work. The staff in the trenches often have the best ideas in how to make their jobs and departments, and the organization as a whole function better. It is especially important to seek out their thoughts and ideas during periods of change. Leaders should listen more than they talk, and ask leading questions, such as:
Would you recommend this organization to your friends and family? If not why not?
What do you see as our top strengths and opportunities?
What do you think the top 3 things are we should be focusing on to improve your department?
If there is one thing you could change, what would it be?
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
Change is inevitable, and a healthy part of every progressive and growing organization. Leaders must recognize this and communicate with clear and concise visions of the future and the steps it will take to get there. Front line managers should be expected to reinforce these messages and help employees understand how they each contribute to achieving the organizations goals.
Competitive wages and benefits plans are nice, and needed to meet employees’ basic needs, but what they really want from their leaders is honesty and to be told the truth. They want to feel they are making a difference. So, create the focus and vision, and then communicate, communicate, communicate it to everyone.
The best way to build trust, loyalty and improved work effort, is to praise and recognize the individuals involved. The most powerful words a leader can ever utter, is “thank you.”. You would be amazed at the impact these two simple words can have on an individual or teams view of themselves. Now not everyone appreciates public recognition for a job well done, but I’ve haven’t met yet the individual who doesn’t appreciate a thank you note, so be creative, but get it done. Recognition is especially important during unsettled times, where people are doing more than they signed up for all in the support of the team and the vision.
In closing, as leaders we not only set the tone and the pace, but we also motivate, inspire and energize those around us by connecting the work they do to the broader vision, mission and values of the organization. Properly executed this will inspire employees to launch new strategies and change that advances the business goals of the organization, adds value to the community and ultimately drives superior results!