Have you been asking yourself how you are supposed to lead during a time of uncertainty, constant change and disruption? Good! That means that you are demonstrating a leadership quality that will serve you well in the days ahead.
Strong leadership is needed more when change, disruption and uncertainty seem to rule the day. I have a few thoughts for you on how to ensure that you are thinking strong healthy leadership thoughts and taking decisive actions for those under your care. I found some interesting concepts from the book, The 100X Leader by Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram. It’s a bit of a field guide for leaders who want to stay in growth mode. We are all facing the gray area between what we can’t do and what we won’t do. These can also be called prohibition and inhibition.
- Prohibition is to be told you cannot do something by someone else who has authority. Things that are hard and fast rules, policies, laws and other things that are, to use an accounting term, ‘fixed’ impacts that are outside of our control. Without judgement, leaders must find ways to clarify how our team(s) will abide/comply with these and incorporate these to the best of our abilities without apology.Find the non-negotiable operating definitions that your organization agrees to abide by for these hard and fast standards and bring this clarity to your team(s) and others in your circles of influence. Leaders find ways to positively support and communicate these without a negative tone or bad attitude about these. They are what they are and your job is to make sure everyone works within these. Remember to be mindful of your body language. Sometimes a roll of the eyes, heavy sigh and other non-approving signals send messages that you are not on board. Take this opportunity to negatively fuel the grapevine off of the table. Get fully on board and only share your concerns with your superiors or others in leadership. NEVER SHARE THESE CONCERNS WITH YOUR STAFF! It only causes increased anxiety, fear or concern that they have no control over.Inhibition is you telling yourself that you cannot do something. These are things from within us that we are fearful or concerned about or that we feel compelled not to do. These are choices that we make about the circumstances that we find ourselves dealing with. There are times that we unknowingly convert these personal fears and concerns into factors that we think everyone must abide by. It is the leaders job to make sure that these ‘phantom rules/policies’ do not blend with real barriers, standards or guidelines. If not properly addressed, team performance can suffer.
…… Schedule a team meeting with a specific agenda to listen to and discuss fears, concerns and areas of how they should be carrying out their duties. Followup on these during your 1:1 meetings with your staff. You need these 1:1’s now more than ever to stay fully informed/aware of the challenges your team is facing. Listen more than talk. You’ll be glad you did.
COMMUNICATE IN PERSON X 10!!!
- Consider reviewing or taking self-discovery surveys and working on your personal development. Stay in improvement mode. You are going to need to revise your schedule to carve out time for your development. It’s not selfish or inconsiderate. It’s been said; “When leaders get better, the whole organization gets better.” Pick up a copy of The 100X Leader and start working your way through it. Better yet, do it with your coach or a trusted friend.Self-awareness is key to great leadership. What have you been wanting to work on but have been too busy/distracted to actually work on it? STOP procrastinating and jump in with both feet and get after it. Seize The Day!!
Be present! Work hard at not being distracted. When you are with your team or your customers, listen, ask questions and let them know you hear them. Work hard to be curious and get to know your team even better.