Being an effective leader means making a personal commitment to continual learning in an effort to keep your skills honed. One of the ways I do this is by following blogs, tweets and checking out websites of some of the great leaders whom I admire and respect. When an article catches my eye, often times it’s because of an experience I’ve had during my career, whether as a team leader, manager, or as an executive and generally there was a lesson I learned along with it.
Success is often driven by first steps. When you take on a new leadership role, getting off to a good start is critical. I came across an article on the Entrepreneur site that outlines an effective approach on how to do this. Clicking on the link below will open a new browser page.
From a leadership perspective, I think what you do next is equally important.
Leaders create and build trust by applying a consistent approach. An experience that comes to mind which demonstrates this perfectly goes back a few years when I was first starting out as a manager. I adopted an approach from Ken Blanchard’s book The One Minute Manager. Each morning I would make my rounds to touch base with each of my employees and perform an adaptation of the 12 Minute Meeting with them. This provided my employees with some daily one-on-one time with me to discuss their current projects, any challenges they might be encountering or simply an opportunity to say good morning.
The practice from a management perspective really paid off for me. It was an excellent way to stay abreast of what was going on at the working level within my team. What I hadn’t realized was how much my staff valued the approach. At least not until the day when I missed making my rounds. An urgency kept me in my office that morning. What followed was very interesting. Over the course of the morning each of my employees made their way to my office door to check in with me. They wanted to know if everything was alright.
The experience demonstrated three things. First, my employees valued our time together and looked forward to the opportunity to meet with me as their manager. Secondly, although this example is small scale, time was spent by each of my staff wondering about what had gone wrong that morning. On a larger scale this could result in significant downtime and lost productivity within an organization. Lastly, it was evident that consistency is important. Unpredictability creates uncertainty and given the ever changing world that we work in, employees value having a sense of what to expect from their manager.
Your leadership approach is one of the things within your control. Putting one small positive change into place today and staying with it can result in significant returns in the longer term. It will increase your credibility and the level of trust with your employees, create stability within your organization and provide an environment that supports increased productivity.
Make that positive change today and put your leadership to work for you!
If you want to increase your leadership muscle by working with a coach give me a call. I’m here to help!