Employees Need to Believe They Can Trust Their Leader
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Leaders are hard to find—at any level of your organization. Leaders exhibit a unique blend of charisma, vision, and character traits that attract people to follow them. They exhibit the other nine characteristics around which this article series was developed as well.
But, mostly, as they exhibit these leadership traits and characteristics, they become the person that other people want to follow—even choose to follow given the opportunity.
What Respected Leaders Know
Respected leaders know that they can’t just walk into a room and say, “Hey I’m the leader. Follow me.” If you’re the boss, you can get away with this attitude to a certain degree, but the followers you attract will be compulsory and not following you by their own choice.
They will heed your advice and obey your commands, but it is involuntary followership based on your organizational hierarchy to a large degree.
Leaders understand that to actually lead most effectively and successfully, they need to attract people who want to follow them.
How Leaders Attract Followers
Leaders recognize their need to attract followers. Followership is the key to understanding leadership. To follow, people must feel confident in the direction in which the leader is headed. To have this level of confidence, the leader must have clearly communicated the overall direction, the key outcomes desired, and the principal strategies agreed upon to reach the outcomes.
Then, employees are enabled and empowered to do their part in accomplishing the stated objectives. They have the framework that they need to guide their own actions. And, empowered employees do want to guide their own actions. You will fail as a leader to your best employees if you ever forget this fact.
Employees Need to Trust Leaders
One of the key factors in whether an employee stays with their current employer is that the employee has confidence and trust that the leaders know what they are doing. This confidence gives employees the control they need for their livelihood and supporting their families.
Further, leaders people follow are accountable and trustworthy. If progress towards accomplishing the goals ceases, the leader takes responsibility to analyze the problem—they don’t search for people to blame.
Consequently, people can have confidence that their leader won’t punish them for their efforts if they take reasonable and responsible risks that are well thought out and well-founded. They are accountable and responsible to deserve their leader’s confidence and trust.
Leaders Should Recognize and Reward Success
Followers need to believe that, at the end of the journey, their leader will recognize and reward them for their contribution. The leader must help followers answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Successful leaders are honest about the potential risks inherent in the chosen path as well as the potential rewards.
They communicate, not just the overall direction, but any information their followers need to successfully and skillfully carry out their responsibilities. They recognize that for their followers to perform most effectively they need to understand the big picture.
They also know that their job is to remove barriers that may have a negative impact on the employees’ success—not to micromanage how the employees accomplish their work.
Employees Need Information
They need to know why the organization is pursuing the current strategies. They need their leader for guidance and to help remove any barriers they may experience along the way. Mostly, they need the assurance that their leader has confidence in their ability to perform and produce the desired outcomes.
If any of these factors are missing, leaders will have a tough time attracting followers. At the end of the day, it is the entwining of the relationship of the leader with the followers that makes their organization or portion of the organization succeed.
When the Leader Is Also the Boss
Occasionally, the leader is the person who is in charge, the founder of the business, the CEO, the president, or department head. Leadership qualities combined with positional power magnify the ability of an individual to attract and retain the all-important followers.
In fact, business owners can count on a certain amount of respect and followership based on their ownership and title. Longevity, too, plays a role in attracting and retaining followers. People who have followed the leader for ten years are likely to continue to follow unless they lose trust in the leader’s direction.
But, never forget, no matter what your position is in the organization, even if your current job is a valued contributor, you can become a leader that other employees want to follow.
In fact, in organizations, one of the reasons employees are promoted to positions such as team leader, supervisor, or department manager, is that they have demonstrated over time that people will follow them.
Characteristics of a Successful Leadership Style
Much is written about what makes successful leaders. This series will focus on the characteristics, traits, and actions that many leaders believe are key.
When you’re running a business, your team is your most important asset and biggest resource. Without them the business could not function so it’s essential that your employees feel encouraged and inspired on a daily basis.
In order to achieve great results, you should be constantly thinking about ways you can motivate and inspire your team. Here are some ways you can steer your employees in the right direction and achieve your goals together.
Interested in learning more about how to motivate & inspire your team? Download our Manager’s Guide to Using Feedback to Motivate, Engage, and Develop Your Team.
1. Share your vision and set clear goals
You can only motivate and inspire your team if they know what they are working towards. Make sure your employees are aware of your vision and what your ultimate goals are for the business. This encourages everyone to work together to achieve better results. As well as this, regularly set clear and measurable goals that are framed by this vision so that you and your teams can track progress and they are able to see their success in a tangible way. Supporting alignment within and across teams cultivates increased productivity and can help employees to feel valued and motivated.
2. Communicate with your staff
Part of clear goal-setting relies on effective communication with your team. Communication is a two-way street and you should make sure that there is a constant flow of communication between you and your employees. This way you can not only keep them up-to-date with what needs to be done but you can also listen to their ideas, opinions and feedback. This will ultimately have a positive impact on your business as they may approach dilemmas in a different way to you.
Check in regularly with your team and give them the opportunity to come and talk to you. Make sure you are available to contact and be open and approachable in your attitude to communication. This will make your staff feel involved in the business and its operations which will further motivate them to achieve better results.
3. Encourage teamwork
The best kind of companies are those where everyone works together cohesively. Encouraging and promoting teamwork boosts productivity because it makes employees feel less isolated and helps them to feel more engaged with their tasks. You can do this by regularly holding team-building exercises and opportunities for your team members to bond and get to know one another.
Think about this when hiring new staff by considering how they will fit into the team and the workplace culture. Even if someone is experienced in a role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will work well with the rest of your employees.
4. A healthy office environment
Our environment has a significant impact on our productivity, contentment and creativity. Healthy and happy employees are more likely to feel motivated and engaged. Create a space that is enjoyable to work in and an office where your employees want to spend their time. Be conscious of privacy, noise, air quality, natural light, areas to relax and the ambience. Encourage healthy attitudes by offering healthy snacks and access to exercise, whether this is in the form of a gym membership or participating in team exercise classes.
By promoting healthy habits you can help your staff to maintain their energy levels and reduce their stress. Office perks such as these will also make your team feel appreciated and further encourage them to do their best work.
And don’t forget about your remote employees. They need just as much attention and support from your side to create a healthy work environment for them, too – even if their office is at home. Keep in mind that employees that work from home (regardless if it’s just a few days per week or on a constant basis) will have different struggles than the employees you see daily at the office. Make sure to run regular Pulse Surveys for remote employees to find out what they are struggling with so you can support them better and help them create a positive and productive work environment, regardless of where they’re located.
5. Give positive feedback and reward your team
The power of positive praise is sometimes overlooked but recognizing and applauding achievement inspires team members as they can see themselves progressing towards the goals of the company. When employees achieve results, put in extra effort or do outstanding work make sure to tell them that you’re grateful and be specific in your praise. For example, don’t just say ‘good job’, explain why it was a good job and how it helped to benefit the business. This will not only motivate your employee but help them succeed with future work.
Reward your team for hard work, whether this in the form of monetary rewards, gifts, perks or more responsibility and independence.
6. Provide opportunities for development
Team members feel more valuable when they are learning and enhancing their skills. To motivate and inspire your team to achieve great results you should provide your employees with opportunities for growth and development. These opportunities should be tailored specifically to suit the individual employee and can be in the form of further training, setting challenging targets, inviting an employee to shadow you or spending your own time teaching and mentoring somebody. Focus on teaching your team transferable skills they could use in different positions and encourage them to set themselves learning goals.
Motivation is an essential part of any workplace and you should be constantly striving to make your employees feel motivated and inspired. If you do this, you’re sure to achieve the results that you need.
Interested in learning more about how to motivate & inspire your team? Download our Manager’s Guide to Using Feedback to Motivate, Engage and Develop Your Team, below.
Join the global movement that’s making corporations more people-centric to achieve great results.
The world is facing a global leadership crisis. Seventy-seven percent of leaders think they do a good job of engaging their people, yet 88 percent of employees say their leaders don’t engage enough. There is also a high level of suffering in the workplace: 35 percent of employees would forgo a pay raise to see their leaders fired.
This is an enormous waste of human talent–despite the fact that $46 billion is spent each year on leadership development.
Based on extensive research, including assessments of more than 35,000 leaders and interviews with 250 C-level executives, The Mind of the Leader concludes that organizations and leaders aren’t meeting employees’ basic human needs of finding meaning, purpose, connection, and genuine happiness in their work.
But more than a description of the problem, The Mind of the Leader offers a radical, yet practical, solution. To solve the leadership crisis, organizations need to put people at the center of their strategy. They need to develop managers and executives who lead with three core mental qualities: mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion.
Using real-world inspirational examples from Marriott, Accenture, McKinsey & Company, LinkedIn, and many more, The Mind of the Leader shows how this new kind of leadership turns conventional leadership thinking upside down. It represents a radical redefinition of what it takes to be an effective leader–and a practical, hard-nosed solution to every organization’s engagement and execution problems.
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7 Ways to Inspire Your Team to Achieve Amazing Results
Inspired teams achieve amazing results. Here are 7 tips on how to inspire your team.
It’s inspired teams that achieve amazing results, that break new records and scale new heights. Inspiration is contagious, and once enough people are infected, they can continue to inspire each other to even bigger and better results.
Every leader should have the goal to create an inspired team and here are seven tips that will help you achieve that goal.
1. Ignite the Passion
When people are passionate they will go the extra mile; they will work harder and longer to achieve the goal and as Inspiring Leaders we need to ignite that passion. Passion is contagious, and the first thing we need to do is to find our passion and look to transfer that to our teams.
2. Nurture Belief
People become inspired when they have the belief that they will be successful, and we need to nurture that belief. We all have greatness within us and as leaders, we need to help our teams release their greatness. We need to build their confidence in their abilities.
When we have the belief that we will be successful, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. Show What’s Possible
People have greater belief when they have a plan or an approach which shows them how to be successful. So we need to show them what needs to be done and how they can achieve the goals. This then leaves them with the task of just following the plan, knowing that if they do that successfully, then they will be successful.
4. Provide Purpose
People are much more inspired when they are trying to achieve things that have a higher importance, it gives them a sense of purpose, and a stronger desire to be successful.
We need to find that higher purpose and create the desire within our teams.
5. Invite Participation
It’s impossible to force a team to be inspired, so we need to invite them to participate, give them an opportunity to achieve something special, something astounding. I have found as a leader I always get better results when I ask rather than tell people what they need to do.
When people accept the invitation, then they also accept partial accountability for achieving success, and when people accept accountability the probability of success increases.
We need to create some early wins, some quick successes and then recognize achievement, the more achievement we recognize, the more inspired the teams will become as they start to see themselves progressing towards the goal. What we recognize gets repeated, and we want to encourage our teams to continue to achieve success.
7. Empower Our Teams
The more empowered our teams are, the more ownership they take.The best way to empower our teams is to hold them accountable for outcomes. When you hold the teams accountable for outcomes, you allow them to take control of what needs to be done, and if they see that the approach is not achieving the desired results, then they can change it.
Inspiring leaders Ignite the passion, Nurture the belief, Show what’s possible, Provide purpose, Invite participates, Recognise achievement and Empower their teams to be successful.
What do you do to inspire your teams, i’d be really interested to know?
We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations. – Navy SEAL Creed
Most great leaders have a passion for building and leading an elite team. Who wants to lead a team based on mediocrity and moderation anyway? That would be a direct negative reflection on who? The leadership. But leading elite teams takes persistence and a consistent pursuit of personal and professional development. Constant personal reflection and taking action based on regular feedback.
I try to constantly study the art of leadership and have drawn many comparisons from my time in the Navy SEAL teams to my experiences as an entrepreneur leading a growing company. Here are five tips for leading an elite team.
Create an environment of leadership. At all levels. When you consider the caliber of team members you find in the military your first inclination might be to wonder how they recruit and develop such selflessness. Such an attitude of service and loyalty to the person to your right and left. But with further consideration, one will realize that it is more about the environment and culture that creates these attitudes and makes them a reality.
Elite teams have leaders at all levels. There are many successful organizations out there where the most senior leaders are absolutely not leaders. They are authorities. And because they are authorities, people do what they say. But those people would never truly follow them. And then there are people at the very bottom of the totem pole that are true leaders. Emergent leaders that take charge in the absence of orders and inspire those around them.
Make the team feel safe. Management and leadership are different disciplines.You cannot manage a team into combat. They must be led. It is hard to think that anyone would feel safe in a combat situation. It is all about trust and loyalty. When you trust the leadership and the team members to your right, left and rear, you have an overwhelming sense of comfort. When bullets start flying, politics go out the window. You are fighting to protect your teammates and nothing more.
Imagine if everyone on your team embodied this kind of philosophy? What an unwavering sense of loyalty that would create, and therefore a distinct competitive advantage over your competition. This starts at the top by senior leaders staying calm under pressure, communicating effectively, providing resources and removing obstacles. When the team feels safe and supported, they will do everything in their power to execute their responsibilities and go above and beyond to help achieve company goals.
Actively manage through adaptive change. This is critical in combat as in business. All businesses experience change, especially growing businesses in dynamic industries. Great leaders know when it’s time for change, even if it means reinventing your business. This can be a scary thing for the team and often things get worse before they get better.
Change management requires a few key things from the leadership. First, you need to communicate what the change is and why it is necessary for the company to continue to be successful. Second, you need to ensure that each team member regardless of rank or position understands how this change impacts them and what is required of them for productive implementation. Third, you need to make the team aware of what the leadership is doing in order to provide support and resources during the transitional period of change. And fourth, over communicate consistently during this time and get feedback. In the SEAL teams we say “pass the word.” Simply put, this means tell me what the hell is going on. Make sure to tell your team what the hell is going on.
Be a servant to your team. I recently finished reading Steven Pressfield’s historical fiction ‘The Afghan Campaign’ about Alexander the Great’s invasion of the Afghan kingdoms in 330 B.C. And Alexander, in all his ambition and arrogance, was at heart, the epitome of a true servant leader. He led from the front affording himself no additional comforts that his men didn’t have during their brutal trek through the Hindu Kush Mountains.
Great leaders embrace the concept of servant leadership asking nothing of their team they haven’t already done or aren’t willing to do themselves. And while you can’t always be in the trenches side-by-side with your team members, making a conscious effort to do so periodically goes a long way. Then, when you’re out there steering the ship they know you still care intimately about their specific roles in achieving the company’s vision.
Always eat last. Traditionally, in the military the officers eat last at chow time. This is a simple but impactful gesture of leadership. When you sacrifice for your team, they will sacrifice for you. It is the team that must execute on a daily basis and therefore it is imperative they have the resources to do so, even before you do.
Earlier I referenced the book ‘The Afghan Campaign.” When Alexander was leading forced marches through treacherous and unforgiving mountain conditions, eventually the food ran out. He could have easily had a personal supply train providing him with food and all the comforts of home, but he didn’t. When his men didn’t eat, neither did he. Yet he still projected strength and positivity despite seemingly impossible odds.
These five elements of leadership are not easy to execute on a consistent basis. It requires a daily focus and attention. Asking yourself, with each move and decision you make, am I being the best possible leader I can right now? If not, adjust accordingly.
Pfizer Seems To Lead Coronavirus Vaccine Development Race. How Did It Get Ahead?
Pfizer appears to have the lead in the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Results from its clinical trials could be out in a matter of weeks.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
One company appears to lead the pack for getting a green light for its COVID-19 vaccine – Pfizer. The company’s CEO has hinted that preliminary results from its vaccine trial could be available as soon as the end of this month. NPR’s Joe Palca looks at how the Pfizer vaccine made it to the front of the line.
JOE PALCA, BYLINE: The race to find a vaccine for COVID-19 started in mid-January. That’s when Chinese scientists published the genetic sequence of the coronavirus causing the disease. At the time, no one even knew if it was possible to make a vaccine against this new viral invader. When I spoke to Pfizer’s chief scientific officer for viral vaccines at the start of May this year, he was sounding confident.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
PHILIP DORMITZER: I think there’s a very good chance we’ll have a vaccine.
PALCA: Phil Dormitzer says Pfizer’s advantage came from a strategic partnership it made with the German biotech company BioNTech. The two companies had been working on a flu vaccine using a new kind of technology based on the virus’s genes. Dormitzer says BioNTech was able to quickly refocus its research from flu to the coronavirus.
DORMITZER: It’s literally a matter of swapping out influenza genes and swapping in a SARS coronavirus spike gene.
PALCA: The SARS coronavirus spike gene is the key to making a COVID-19 vaccine. Dormitzer says BioNTech quickly came up with vaccine candidates.
DORMITZER: And then what requires a much greater research and infrastructure, we can come in and really start to pitch in there.
PALCA: Pfizer organized initial safety testing of several different versions of the vaccine in May.
KIRSTEN LYKE: We started with four different agents at three different doses each.
PALCA: Kirsten Lyke is one of the scientists who tested the Pfizer vaccine candidates. She’s at the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development. She says normally, testing all those different versions and all those different doses would have taken years. But for the COVID vaccine, they did it in four months.
LYKE: So we’re just moving very quickly.
PALCA: Part of the reason they were able to finish so fast was a new technique for measuring how well a volunteer’s immune system responded to the vaccine. Pei-Yong Shi at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston developed the technique. He found a way to tag genes in the virus so they light up when they infected cells in the lab.
PEI-YONG SHI: You don’t have to wait for four, five days. And the computer calculates the data you wish. It’s just, like, very rapid.
PALCA: By the end of July, Pfizer was ready to start large-scale testing in humans. The company has now enrolled some 44,000 volunteers in a trial to show that the vaccine can prevent disease in someone exposed to the coronavirus and isn’t likely to cause any rare health problems. It’s a huge logistical undertaking, but one Edward Walsh from the University of Rochester says Pfizer is quite capable of.
EDWARD WALSH: They’ve got a well-oiled system for testing vaccines at various stages of their development.
PALCA: Even though other companies started large efficacy studies around the same time, University of Maryland’s Kirsten Lyke says it’s not surprising Pfizer may get results first.
LYKE: Pfizer’s incredibly organized and is always, like, a couple steps ahead, planning where they want to go.
PALCA: Developing a vaccine during a pandemic is tough, and Lyke says it’s impossible to ignore the politics that have been swirling around the effort. President Trump has accused regulators of trying to slow down the approval process to thwart his reelection bid. But Lyke says politics hasn’t invaded the actual research.
LYKE: From boots on the ground getting these studies done, it’s 100% science, and that’s been super rewarding.
PALCA: It’s possible that Pfizer may have enough evidence that their vaccine works before the end of the month, at which point the company could go to the FDA and ask for permission to distribute it to the public. FDA has said its review could take weeks. But for his part, Pfizer’s Phil Dormitzer says that’s time well spent. Having an external review of the data Pfizer has collected is essential for the public to be convinced that the vaccine is safe and actually works.
DORMITZER: I work for a pharmaceutical company, but I’m also a consumer. So I’m thinking of myself on the other end. I would want someone else to verify that as well.
PALCA: And just to provide a little perspective, everything about developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is moving faster than usual, from creating the vaccine candidates to testing them to getting them ready for FDA’s regulatory review, a review that will also likely go much faster than usual. It still may not seem fast enough to some, but for the people used to working in this field, it’s been nothing short of remarkable.
Joe Palca, NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.
Accenture is no outlier. A global movement is taking place in the C-suites of thousands of progressive organizations like Marriott, Starbucks, and LinkedIn. The question the leaders of these organizations ask themselves is, “How can we create more human leadership and people-centered cultures where employees and leaders are more fulfilled and more fully engaged?”
As human beings, we are all driven by basic needs for meaning, happiness, human connectedness, and a desire to contribute positively to society. That’s true whether we’re at home, out in the world, or at work. But it’s one thing to realize this and another to act on it. Speaking to our people’s intrinsic motivation calls for leadership and organizations that cater to these desires. It is something that forward-thinking organizations and leaders are increasingly realizing and addressing. As Javier Pladevall, CEO of Audi Volkswagen, Spain, reflected in a conversation I had with him: “Leadership today is about unlearning management and relearning being human.”
In my new book The Mind of the Leader, co-authored with Jacqueline Carter, we provide a way to do this. It outlines how leaders can lead themselves, their people, and their organizations to unlock intrinsic motivation, create real people-centered cultures, and ultimately deliver extraordinary results.
How important is this message? Consider this: In a 2016 McKinsey & Company study of more than fifty-two thousand managers, 86% rated themselves as inspiring and good role models. But this stands in stark contrast to how employees perceive their leaders. A 2016 Gallup engagement survey found that 82% of employees see their leaders as fundamentally uninspiring. In fact, the same survey found that only 13% of the global workforce is engaged, while 24% are actively disengaged.
This seeming lack of good leadership is not because of a lack of effort. According to a recent report, organizations around the globe invest approximately $46 billion annually on leadership development programs. That’s a lot of money for seemingly little return. What is going wrong?
In part, the system is broken: According to research by Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, when many leaders start to feel powerful, their more benevolent qualities start to decline. Corporate leaders are three times more likely than lower-level employees to interrupt co-workers, multitask during meetings, raise their voices, and say insulting things. He also found that leaders are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish, and unethical behavior. None of this is going to speak to the intrinsic motivation that we all share.
While the $46 billion spent on leadership training might improve leaders’ effectiveness – at least in a strictly business sense of focusing on the bottom line –something more is needed: Leadership that truly engages employees, leadership that is truly human and speaks to the basic human needs any employee has.
And it starts in the mind of the leader.
Leadership pioneer Peter Drucker said, “You cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first.” If this is true, the majority of leadership education and training programs have it backward. Most leadership education starts with skills like strategy, people management, and finance. But from Drucker’s point of view, this approach starts at the end and misses the beginning: it’s like building a house by starting with the roof.
Like Drucker, we argue that leadership starts with yourself. More specifically, it starts in your mind. By understanding how your mind works, you can lead yourself effectively. By understanding and leading yourself effectively, you can understand others and be able to lead them more effectively. And by understanding and leading others more effectively, you can understand and lead your organization more effectively – and by “more effectively,” we mean in a way that’s going to tap into your own and your people’s intrinsic motivations and sense of purpose. If you’re able to do that – and we have witnessed that with practice and persistence, anyone can – you’ll have a more engaged and productive workforce. And perhaps more importantly, you’ll be part of creating more happiness, stronger human connectedness, and better social cohesion within and beyond your organization.
For more than a decade, we and our colleagues at Potential Project have trained tens of thousands of leaders in hundreds of companies like Microsoft, LEGO, Danone, and Accenture, utilizing the practice of mindfulness. The outcomes have been thoroughly researched and proven to deliver remarkable results. But with the emerging movement of employees looking for more meaning, happiness, and connectedness, we have asked ourselves what else leaders need for leading themselves, their people, and their organizations for extraordinary results.
As part of this research, we and our research team have surveyed and assessed more than 30,000 leaders from thousands of companies in more than a hundred countries. We have conducted in-depth interviews with hundreds of C-suite executives. And we have reviewed thousands of studies on leadership in the fields of neuroscience, leadership, organizational development, and psychology.
Based on this research, we have conclusively found that three mental qualities stand out as being foundational for leaders today: mindfulness (M), selflessness (S), and compassion (C). Together, we call these foundational skills MSC leadership.
So how do you as a leader achieve MSC leadership, to better engage your people at their intrinsic level and unleash better performance? By applying mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion first to yourself, then to your people, and then to your organization. I am looking forward to sharing the research and tools for this, at WorkHuman 2018 in Austin, Texas.
“Leadership that is truly human starts in the mind of the leader.” @RasmusTPP
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Table of Contents
- 7 Steps for leaders to deliver results as a team
As a leader or a manager, it is your job to create an environment where everyone can meet their potential. Furthermore, it is your job to keep the team heading in the right direction. Objectives and Key Results make it easier to deliver results.
Basically, setting goals is not enough to actually achieve them. With all of that in mind, one of the best solutions is to find a good OKR performance management software to automate the process.
With 94% positive reviews and 74% of those being 5-star ratings according to getapp.com, Weekdone serves as a good solution to deliver results within your own company. The OKR method is suitable for the modern world of work, and Weekdone provides good value for both managers and team members.
On the basis of our customer case studies and different successful leadership methodologies, we at Weekdone compiled 7 steps which will guarantee your successful outcome as a team. Choose a suitable medium for you! The 7 steps come in the form of slides, text, or infographic for your convenience.
7 Step Guide For a Leader to Deliver Results as a Team
Step #1: Big Picture and Goals
It is absolutely vital that everyone on your team understands the bigger picture. This is especially true when examing their role of reaching their Objective. People with goals tend to achieve 10 times as much as people with no goals at all.
So, the ideal thing to do is to set a company goal with measurable metrics. Then, you should find a singular location (such as a dashboard) or a forum to share this knowledge. With that in mind, you can then align your company goal with each member of the team . Even the act of writing down a goal increases the odds of achieving it, helping you to really deliver results.
The best way to evaluate your big picture goals is to connect your larger projects with the OKR methodology. This way, you can easily track and align goals at every level in your company. Though starting out with spreadsheets or emails is alright for getting started, it’s also ideal to switch to OKR performance management software as soon as possible for the sake of transparency.
Step #2: Assign Tasks According to Each Team Member’s Strengths
In order for your team members to be happy and productive, it is essential to play to their strengths. According to a Gallup survey , employees are 61% more engaged if their managers focuses on their strengths. In addition, people feel better doing tasks that they are good at and, most importantly, they perform better. Make sure you know your team’s strengths and give tasks accordingly.
Step #3: Sharing and Delivering Results
Teams achieve better chemistry and results if there is a dashboard or forum to share ideas. At Weekdone, we urge leaders to implement a suitable brainstorming format to generate ideas within your team. There are many different formats out there to choose from.
The benefits of brainstorming and sharing ideas are essentially getting ideas, solving problems, and overall, being better as a team. Furthermore, brainstorming serves as a good “idea bank” where everyone can contribute. For example, this “idea bank’s” results may lead to process innovation, operations, and product innovation.
Though these brainstorming and “idea bank” methods are typically reserved for meetings, sharing results does not have to be confined to face-to-face meetings only. Using a status reporting tool that focuses on connecting OKRs to projects cuts the time spend in meetings to only what is absolutely necessary. Because of this, using a good OKR performance management software like Weekdone makes sharing results easier through a cloud-based dashboard.
Step #4: Increase Engagement by Implementing Methodologies
One of the key parts of achieving your goals is repetition with a system that helps to keep the work process going. In the beginning, I already emphasized the importance of goals and that the best methodology for that is Objectives and Key Results – OKRs . OKRs are used by the likes of Google, LinkedIN, and Zynga.
Using a goal setting and tracking method helps people to start moving towards important goals, not small unimportant tasks. On the other hand, employees love it for the clarity of knowing what’s expected from them.
I also urge you to try out the Problems, Plans and Progress – PPP methodology . It is used by companies like Skype and it helps to enhance team collaboration and keep everyone informed. It also clarifies what needs to be done in order to achieve a certain goal.
Step #5: Constantly Improve the Work Process
Using weekly check-in methodology helps to bring out the flaws and problems of your team’s work process. In order to achieve the results as efficiently as possible, it is critical to make continuous improvements in your workflow. As a leader, it is recommended to check in regularly to see how everybody is doing and if they need a push to get them over a hump. This can be done in an online status update format or just by talking to your team members individually.
Improving the work process can also mean introducing new tools.
Step #6: Encourage and Motivate
All methodologies and goal setting techniques are tools to help your team achieve better results, but we have to remember that we are dealing with humans. People are emotional beings and by setting goals and giving tasks according to their strengths increases the odds of success, but it does not mean that you should not motivate them. The best times to encourage and motivate your team is at the beginning and the final part of the process.
People tend to get stuck and in order for them to finish their task, it is recommended to reinforce the fact that they are moving in the right direction. They should also be informed that they are a vital part of the outcome.
Step #7 Deliver Results with Feedback and Recognition
On the last step, I started to touch on the emotional side of delivering results. There is still one last thing leaders should not forget. Give your team members feedback and recognition. These two elements are known to motivate people more than money .
In addition, regular feedback makes everyone twice as happy and makes sure they are engaged .
Have you considered the role that Emotional Intelligence plays in your change effort? Emotional Intelligence, according to Professor and Executive Coach, Dr. Laura Belsten is “the ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage ourselves and manage our relationships.” According to my colleague Joe Baker when your leaders have high Emotional Intelligence, you have:
- Less leadership derailment – Fatal flaws for executives include mostly interpersonal and communication skills. (Ed DiZazzo, building on Center for Creative Leadership research)
- Higher employee engagement and retention – Employees join companies and leave managers [with low emotional intelligence.] (First Break All the Rules, Buckingham and Coffman.) US Air Force reduced recruiter turnover from 35% to 5% annually be selecting candidates high in emotional intelligence.
- Higher productivity – In an industry-wide study including AT&T, managers at all levels with high emotional intelligence accounted for 20% more productivity than low EQ leaders.
- Higher sales and profits – Senior Partners in a multinational consulting firm with high EQ earned $1.2 million more profit annually than their peers. (Talent Smart Business Case for Emotional Intelligence, page 4.)
How do you harness the power of your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) to drive a transformational change effort? Harvard Business Review recently published a great article that addresses how to increase your personal Emotional Intelligence. This particularly resonated with similar advice I give clients when they’re seeking to drive big changes:
- Identify the source of your resistance. Gather honest feedback and really listen to the resistance that you’re hearing from your organization. So many of my clients move quickly through this step because they don’t want to hear what they perceive as “complaining”, but there is great wisdom to be gained by gathering this feedback and seeking to understand it. I recently worked with a client going through a major acquisition where leaders assumed that the pushback/ resistance from employees was about job security, leadership changes, etc. These leaders were worried that, since they didn’t have all the answers, they would be creating a bigger issue by opening up a broader discussion with leaders. Instead of acting on those assumptions, though, they gathered their top leaders together in a forum with open Q&A (a great example of brave and courageous leadership). They opened the floor for confidential feedback and allowed employees to name their issues, concerns and questions. It turned out that employees were most concerned about immediate changes that may be necessary to their own working environment & processes as part of the broader acquisition picture. If they hadn’t listened to employee feedback, these Execs would have communicated the wrong things to employees, leading to further shared frustration all around. As communications that targeted the actual questions increased, employee resistance to the broader effort decreased.
- Change the Story. According to this HBR article, our emotional reactions to change often reflect our interpretations – or “stories” – that we convince ourselves are true. Think about how that plays out on a broad organizational scale; employees have their own “stories” of how things work today. To convince them to adopt big changes, you have to do two things: 1) tell a new story that’s emotionally compelling and hooks them into the “why” from the beginning. 2) Explain what this means to them personally so they can see the end state and know how their own stories will change.
- Create Ownership. Chances are that early on in your change effort it’s you and the Executive Team/ Steering Committee or sponsors that are owning the change effort. That’s ok at the beginning…but it’s critical that this changes over time. Your leaders, managers, and employees need to have a stake in the change and own it too over time in order for real adoption to take place. Engaging employees early and upfront is key; so is creating a broader network of people who serve as influencers.
This opinion piece forms part of our IMPACTxAsia blog series
The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organisation for Extraordinary Results
This article summarises a Senior Leader Roundtable that took place on 30 August 2018, co-hosted by HSBC, The Potential Project and Community Business
The session featured a discussion with Rasmus Hougaard, Founder & Managing Director – The Potential Project and co-author ‘The Mind of the Leader’. Moderating the discussion was Kyoko Altman, Director, Institutional & Wealth Sales, APAC & Head of Sustainable Investments, Global Banking & Markets Group – HSBC, with introductory remarks from Peter Hebert, COO Asia-Pacific, Retail Banking & Wealth Management – HSBC and Fern Ngai, CEO – Community Business.
The discussion was inspired by themes explored in the book ‘The Mind of the Leader’ by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter, which focused on modern leadership traits and the value of compassion, selflessness and mindfulness in engaging teams and driving sustainable results. Following two years of research, the book identifies and addresses a global leadership crisis – organizations and leaders are not meeting employees’ basic human needs of finding meaning, purpose, connection, and genuine happiness in their work.
The Leadership Crisis
The session began with an overview of the leadership crisis* that many companies face today:
- Lack of engagement: only 13% of the global workforce is actively engaged; 24% are actively disengaged
- Lack of happiness:65% of employees would forego a pay raise to see their leader fired
- Lack of leadership:77% of leaders think they engage and motivate their people. 82% of their people disagree
*Forbes: Majority of Americans Would Rather Fire their Boss Than Get A Raise & Gallup 2016 Survey & McKinsey & Co. & ATD
As well as an insight into how leaders can combat these issues: leadership starts with the mind, understanding yourself (your biases and values) in order to lead and understand your people in order to effectively lead and understand your organisation.
The book is grounded in the concept of neuro-plasticity – our brain is changing according to how we use it. Therefore, training certain qualities in the brain (i.e. through mindfulness) can strengthen the brain. Leaders can change the way their minds work based on these findings.
Full-Stomach or Empty-Stomach Leadership
Today’s staffing and talent dilemma can be summed up by the concept of full-stomach or empty-stomach leadership. Leadership styles in the past have been tailored to people with ‘empty stomachs’ – they needed the job to survive therefore they would endure a bad boss or difficult conditions. There has been a paradigm shift and people today have adopted the ‘full-stomach’ mindset. They will not endure hard working conditions – work has become more flexible and with that blanket loyalty to one company has reduced. Leaders must adapt and become full-stomach leaders, by creating conditions where people are happy and fulfilled at work.
The Three Qualities that Leaders should Adopt
Mindfulness: Focused vs Distracted | Aware vs Autopilot
Mindfulness is the ability to focus and be present with people. Today’s society is full of information overload and distractions. Being a mindful and present leader is becoming more challenging with these distractions but therefore more important. Mindful leaders do not multi-task. Efficiency is lost in the ‘switch-time’ between tasks. The more we multi-task, the more we shrink the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This applies to both men and women. Mindfulness is not about slowing down but gaining clarity and focus.
Selflessness: Selfless vs Ego-centered | Confident vs Diffident
Selflessness is about removing the ego from your leadership style. The ego grows as we climb the leadership ladder, so it is vital that leaders stay in tune with their surroundings and remain self-aware. Too often, C-Suite executives find themselves in a ‘leadership bubble’ – out of tune and removed from the rest of their team. Selflessness and being self-aware helps to overcome this. It is important to ensure that selflessness is combined with the confidence to ensure that you remain an effective leader.
Studies have found that the more people use the pronouns ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’, and ‘mine’, the higher the correlation to coronary heart disease and mortality. When we use more inclusive pronouns like ‘we’, or second-person pronouns like ‘you’ or ‘your’, it has a positive impact on our health.
Compassionate: Kind vs Indifferent | Wise vs Ignorant
Compassion is about bringing positive change to your team and should not be mistaken with being soft. It is about providing your team with what they need and not what they want. Compassion can be seen as softness if introduced in the wrong way. A mindful leader must have the attention of benefiting others, not pleasing others.
Compassion should not be confused with empathy. Empathy is a short-term intervention. It is intertwined with emotions and immediate circumstances. As humans, we empathise with people we look like or identify with, so raw empathy can also lead to a lack of diversity. Compassion, on the other hand, is a long-term solution. It combines empathy with rationality and removes emotion from strategising to find a solution to the problem.
Re-thinking Top-Down, Power-Based Management Styles
The traditional style of leadership has not been working for a long time. Mimicking military leadership, it served ‘empty stomach’ employees very well. Furthermore, today’s environment is not responding to this rigid style of management. People are looking for more from their careers – they want to be fulfilled now that basic needs have been covered. Many companies interviewed and worked with for the book recognise this and are putting effort into changing their leadership styles to accommodate. They know they cannot compete if they do not adapt.
About the Author: Emily Moss, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, Community Business