Five Suggestions for Leadership Development

December 28, 2018 by  

Sometimes, leaders do not realize that their style of leadership can be perceived as flawed or ineffective. If you do not get some feedback about how you are doing, the perception becomes the reality! One of the most difficult tasks of leadership is gaining an understanding of that perception and then taking appropriate steps to improve and remedy the issues that are preventing you from being an excellent leader.
In today’s business world, the development of excellent leaders is extremely important for the success of an organization. Sadly, many companies are not addressing this necessity while others are providing their leaders with training that teaches them the skills necessary to make them into effective, excellent leaders. What is your organization doing?

Here are 4 factors to consider:
1. Is the job a good fit for this person?
This is the most important question as job fit has everything to do with whether a potential leader is going to succeed or fail. If you put a person into a leadership position who is afraid to delegate work, cannot make decisions or is not seen as competent in a position as a leader, they will be unlikely to succeed. It is better to make sure that the person being offered the leadership role has the necessary qualifications and skills to be an effective leader.

2. Accepting constructive feedback.
Getting feedback is one of the most effective ways to help in the development of leaders as this gives them an opportunity to find out how their actions are being perceived by the people they are leading. Often times a person may not realize that they are not being as effective as they think and if they accept constructive feedback they can learn how to become a better leader. In this way, they can learn more about themselves and the skills needed to be good in their job. Self-awareness is key to their success.

3. Providing appropriate coaching and training.
People develop best with on-the-job coaching and training. You need to define exactly what you expect from a leader in your company and clearly articulate that to your leadership prospects. Next, you need to make sure that the leader fully understands your company’s culture, processes, and systems. You can first evaluate the person’s current skills and then you will know what sort of coaching and training they require in order to fulfill the position as you have outlined it. You can also create a project or the person or a team project to see how they manage the assignment. Coaching is a consistent and reliable management style that creates an open line of communication, trust, respect, and rapport as well as an opportunity for growth.

4. Motivation for high performance.
You can create a specific development plan for your leaders so they can visualize their future with your company. Offering new challenges keeps them engaged and interested and builds motivation for high performance as they will likely work harder if they have a clear goal in mind. Recognize and acknowledge your leaders for significant achievements as this shows that you value their contributions to your organization.

5. Effective communication skills.
In a study done a few years ago by Global Knowledge it was learned that the most important skill for any successful leader is effective communication. This is because it is necessary for a leader to be able to clearly articulate their vision, deliver clear, honest, influential and impactful messages to their people. In addition, they need to employ active listening in order to learn about their people and recognize their potential and then help them to fulfill that potential. Also, they need to encourage input, creativity and innovation and that can only be done if they listen well and espouse an “open door” policy for their people. If not, opportunities can be missed.

Leaders do not just appear overnight. Rather they need to be continually trained and developed in order to succeed in a company. Many times, employees are afraid to speak up when they see something a leader may be doing incorrectly; then the leader goes on making the same mistake because they are not aware of the problem. Remember it is so important to open up those lines of honest communication, to continuously coach your team, and to motivate your leaders to be the best they can! The better the leader is, the better your organization will be as they set the tone and commitment to your company’s culture, aims and goals!

5 Ways to Improve Team Accountability

December 6, 2018 by  

Personal responsibility and accountability can certainly put an end to the blame game, save your business thousands if not millions of dollars, increase overall job satisfaction and ultimately, ensure customer satisfaction. 

The following five basic approaches can help to provide you with increasing accountability from your team members and will build you a culture of consistent accountability for your organization.

1. Clearly state your expectations– If even one person on your team does not meet your expectations it could affect the entire team’s results. Therefore, it is extremely important right from the beginning of any new project to clearly outline the expectations and get feedback from your team to be sure they truly understand what is expected of them. Expectations, if they are to be fulfilled, need to be crystal clear and include deadlines, specific responsibilities, task details, and exactly how the completed project/product is to be delivered. If those instructions are not crystal clear important parts could be omitted or missed which would greatly affect the outcome negatively.

2. Clearly communicate the big pictureAccountability will be more likely to occur if everyone on the team understands the “big picture” and exactly how they fit into it. It is very important to spend time speaking individually with the team members to explain their specific part in the vision and mission of your business. When you effectively communication this with clarity, impact and influence, your employees will be able to make wiser decisions and fulfill their individual roles fully and at a high level of performance creating a win/win outcome for everyone.

3. Create accountability groups-One of the best ways to achieve full team accountability is to develop a shared accountability among the team members. This can be accomplished with groups who carefully listen to each other in a respectful manner and keep conversations honest and open. Each accountability group can be made up of 2-5 people and can then become a team small unit working together to share difficulties, weaknesses, and insecurities. Using a team approach they can then find creative strategies to work together and achieve their goals.

4. Take appropriate action-In order for accountability to occur, the team members have to know that failure to complete their parts will result in certain consequences. Such as: written warnings, a loss of a bonus or even extra hours served on a week-end to complete the project. Without consequences, your employees will not care if they do not fulfill their roles. In fact they may even think that they can use blame, justification, and rationalization as a way to deviate from being responsible and this will not result in an accountable attitude or the outcome you are expecting.

5. Establish a reward and recognition program-Employees need to know that their efforts are indeed driving the company forward and should be reinforced and encouraged with some sort of tangible reward or recognition system. An offer of increased pay and other benefits can help to keep accountability and morale high as well as pushing team members toward higher levels of performance……again a win/win for everyone!