It’s easy to lead when you have momentum, isn’t it? When everything is falling into place and going according to plan – you feel invincible – the sun is gently shining down upon your upturned face while you cruise the calm, clear waters, excited to discover what lies ahead.
However, when you don’t have momentum and you’re struggling with seemingly endless challenges, it’s hard to lead and to keep going, particularly when you don’t see an end in sight.
You feel like an anchorless ship being tossed in a stormy sea and you can’t see the safety of the shoreline to give you hope and to guide you to safety.
Have you been there? I have.
It’s in tough times like these you really need to bunker down and ensure you’re focussing on the right things that will not only pull you through but will re-gain your lost momentum and fuel your success.
And it’s these things that I want to focus upon in the next two blogs.
What’s a major leadership challenge you are dealing with right now that requires your leadership?
1. ASSUME NOTHING!
When I lead leaders one on one, I drive into them: “Assume Nothing”.
In many instances, assumptions lead to unexpected and unwanted challenges. Not assuming anything and finding out all correct facts and doing proper research is a key leadership behaviour that will reduce unexpected challenges.
What are you assuming?
Have you acquired all the facts?
Are you sure?
2. ENSURE REGULAR COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR TEAM.
When you’re caught up in the thick of it, it’s really easy to forget to communicate with your team. Your head is down and your tail is up, trying to solve the problem.
However regular communication from you is vital to keep your team with you. And after all, you can’t do anything great on your own.
Lack of communication from you leads to worry, confusion and doubt and then your team starts talking amongst themselves about what could possibly be going on. This then leads to more worry, confusion and doubt which then has a negative impact on your already struggling business performance.
I’ve seen the damaging effects of what poor communication from the leader has on team morale and performance many times so you need to be transparent with your team about:
1. the challenges you’re facing
2. the impact it’s having
3. what you’re planning to do to fix it and,
4. It’s also vital that you communicate what each team members role is in helping the business navigate the challenges you’re facing. The more you all feel like you’re in it together, the greater chance you have of “making it to shore”.
The best form of communication is one on one communication between you and each of your team members. It allows for discussion to ensure everyone is clear on what it is you’re communicating. (Often people won’t ask questions in a group setting).
How regularly you do this is up to you, each individual and the situation at hand, but at an absolute minimum, monthly one on one communication is what I recommend.
It’s also incredibly important your team is meeting regularly together – at least once a week, if not more, to ensure you’re all on the same page, know what everyone is working on and how you’re progressing and how it helps/impacts other parts of the business, brain storm ideas, share resources etc.
Well run team meetings also help unify the team and keep them focussed on the Vision and working together to achieve it.
There are other ways you can and should communicate with your team but for today, these are my top two.
Are you communicating with your team regularly? And one on one?
Are you being heard?
Is your communication unifying the team to face the challenges head on?
3. PUT GREATER ENERGY INTO BUILDING A HIGH PERFORMANCE TEAM CULTURE
The bigger the leadership challenge, the more energy and focus you must put into building your culture.
Your culture is, in a nutshell: “the way things get done around here”.
You need to ensure you have a thriving team environment where individuals are empowered and can excel.
Where everyone is valued by you and each other.
Where there’s unity and harmony, honesty, open communication, trust between each other, 100% loyalty, accountability and respect, and a focus on the right behaviors that will drive results.
Where mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities, not as punishable offences.
Where people are given opportunities to grow and develop their skills.
Your culture drives the engagement of each person in the business and what you’re trying to achieve, and therefore it largely drives the level of their performance for you.
Your business will run aground if you don’t constantly focus on building your culture. It’s like the ocean, you take your eyes off it, even for a second, it can wash you off your feet.
(Apologies for the boating/sea references throughout, but it helps make the point.)
Do you have a high performance team culture?
Where do you need to improve?
What processes do you have in place to equip the people you have around you to grow in their individual roles?
When you face tough times in running and leading a business or team, can I encourage you to focus on these key leadership strategies to help get you back on track and leading for growth.
If you have any questions or comments on the above, please feel free to reach out to me (email@example.com).
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series next week.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it truly helps you and your people grow your leadership strength to live a better life.
CEO, Leadership Dynamics