Last week I wrote and published a blog on my CoachStation business site titled Leadership…This Year and Next. The premise for the content is that we should regularly review our progress and note how we feel about development in various aspects of our lives. In part I wrote:
This time of year is often associated with resolutions or the idea that changes to what has been the past are required…when it comes to leadership, this ideal is as relevant as ever. As individuals and employees we should feel comfortable with this concept, although I recognise the reality is often somewhat different. Now is a good time to have a look at leadership in general and specifically review how you as a leader are performing against current benchmarks and needs, not those rooted in the past.
What has altered in leadership for 2014?
The point that culture and society is evolving means that we as leaders need to keep abreast of cultural, societal, organisational behaviour and workplace adjustments. We are judged on many things including our ability to relate to people and influence others. This is a significant change in leadership principles from the past.
In addition to the points made in my original blog, there are several elements that many of us continue to expand upon and capitalise in both our personal and professional lives. This is most relevant when leading teams where each employee is looking to you for guidance and contribution. The premise of a ‘coaching leader’ has never been more relevant, nor important, to ensure that the skills and capabilities required in your leadership role are aligned with the essential tasks and accountabilities.
When performed well through action and coaching, a philosophy of continued development will maximise the opportunities for yourself, organisation and your team.
Whereas many of these elements are not new, it is of value to review and recommit to goals and progress. Too often elements such as time, procrastination, fear, pride and various other contributors stop us from really buying into ownership of our roles and fearlessly taking action. Challenging ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, however briefly, remains a key doubt for some.
There are many reasons to develop yourself and your team, not the least of which is the satisfaction obtained when meaningful progress occurs. Knowing what each team member is looking for and connecting at an appropriate level is a great start. The desires and depth of experiences employees are looking for remains consistent. Being able to find these in reality remains a challenge. In general, people want to feel like they:
- Can contribute to something larger.
- Are respected and also are given the opportunity and environment to respect those they work with.
- Can align their personal values with peers, colleagues and organisations that employ them – this is critical!
- Are able to ‘put their ideas out there’ without ridicule or dismissal.
- Will be assessed on measurable performance and capability, not subjective, inconsistent, personality-driven assessments and reviews.
- Have the opportunity to develop various aspects of their skills, capability and attributes based on their own needs, not on subjective, mass-produced training options.
- Are empowered to make decisions and have relevant authority for their role.
Each one of us has the responsibility and obligation to commit to our roles and be accountable for our development. In an ideal world and in those cases where I see continued personal and professional growth, an assessment of progress and development is made regularly – at least each year. After all, as leaders, one of our key responsibilities is to develop other leaders. If there is no discernible improvement, growth or development in our team members at this point in time compared to the same time time last year, then both of us have failed.
Do you see areas where improvement or a refocus could be applied by yourself? When is comes to continued growth and development, where do you think you and your team are currently? Let me know your thoughts.