Everyone wants to make a difference
Leadership is a team sport. Each one of us wants to make a positive difference. As leaders we have to understand that our success is everyone’s success and vice versa. By inviting others to leadership, we create a motivating and inspiring culture that elevates our organization. Inviting others to leadership means we are all on the same team. We begin to recognize that other people have the potential and the willingness to lead.
By creating a culture where every person feels that they have a chance to contribute, you create a situation where people can do extraordinary things.
Reaching out to people and inviting them to lead can be a very rewarding experience, but how do you lay the foundation for such a culture?
Know that people want to contribute
The majority of the people who come to work want to do a good job. As leaders and potential leaders we have to think that way. We have to go to work and mentally prepare to know that everyone wants to do good today. It’s a way of appreciating and trusting the people on your team. If you don’t trust them, why should they trust and appreciate you? Positive thoughts nurture good deeds. You have to begin with the proper assumptions about each and every employee on your team.
Demonstrate that everyone counts
Create a culture where every person feels valued and appreciated. The ability to see the potential in every person and provide a place where that potential can be developed can bring more success to any organization. By asking people for their feedback and comments, you are demonstrating everyone counts. One of the best ways leaders have embraced this approach is by setting up a town hall type of meeting place where people can have a meaningful dialogue with the top leaders in their organization.
Share information on a regular basis
In order for people to be well informed and make smart decision, they need to be exposed to valuable information to move toward action. By making a commitment to share information with everyone, you are helping to create a culture of trust and transparency. Sharing information empowers people to go out and deliver. They act on the data and feedback shared to take their performance to a higher level.
Ask questions to promote better insight
To find out more about the people we lead and what they think, we need to ask questions. Take the time to really get to know their likes and dislikes and what makes them wake up every morning? What motivates them? What drives them? Once you take the time to really be curious and share personal connections, your team will be re-energized in your leadership atmosphere.
Develop people as leaders
Leaders have to invest in the development of the people they lead. You have to give the tools for each person on your team to continue to learn, grow, and develop as a person every day. The day you become a leader is the day you build other leaders to continue the path to the company leadership. You have to ask yourself,“What am I teaching today that will help another person take my place one day?” Developing others sometimes gets underestimated because we assume that people grow and develop on their own. By setting time and dedication to another person’s potential, you communicated you care for him or her.
Everyone can grow professionally and coach others through their career. Mentoring relationships allow a safe and supportive environment to share ideas, learn new skills, take risks, improve leadership capabilities and add value to the company. Mentoring really helps everyone grow. Leaders have to invest in their potential so that they can bring the potential in others as well.
When you have people who want to make a difference, make sure you are aligning performance metrics with the company goals. Too often individuals are measured on activity driven metrics rather than true productivity metrics, which can result in otherwise driven employees focussing on the wrong tasks… Just a thought.
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