The beginning of every great organization starts with excellent leadership. With that being said, it seems obvious that companies should not only put thought into whomever is overseeing the leadership structure of their enterprise, but also delve deeper into what precautions are being taken to ensure their management is driving results. After all, the qualities you instill within supervisors should parallel those found in within the vision of your organization.
We recently polled a group of tested leadership experts in hopes of uncovering the realities and myths behind executive action. Here’s what they had to say:
Learn To Master The Difficult Conversation:
“One quality that truly sets leaders apart is the ability to master difficult conversations. By difficult conversations, I mean those that involve holding employees accountable for missed commitments, providing honest feedback, and resolving challenging conflicts between individual and teams. Many leaders either avoid these discussions because they are uncomfortable or they handle them too aggressively and cause unhelpful negativity and hurt feelings. Handling these types of conversations requires a lot of practice and leadership skill in areas such as self-awareness, emotional regulation, and empathy.
I have coached many leaders and businesses over the past years and have found difficult conversation to be the number one issue that causes frustration and anxiety for managers, executive, and business owners. That's because conflict and communication challenges come up on a daily basis in a business setting and do great damage to an organization's health when they are ignored. The most effective leaders are comfortable and confident in delivering tough messages and doing so in a way that builds consensus and commitment. Further, they are willing and able to keep others in dialogue to foster open exchanges of information and ideas. This is very relevant to maximizing the potential of employees because these conversations are at the very heart of providing honest feedback and guidance to emerging leaders. It also models a leadership style that directly results in improved organizational communication, morale, problem solving, and results.” – Seth Sinclair, Co-Founder & Leadership Coach at Modern da Vinci
Inspire Rather Than Instruct
“When working in any industry, the best leaders inspire action rather than telling their subordinates what to work on. This means cultivating a scenario where your employees are coming up with the ideas that drives their work. This can be done though 'leading' questions.
For example, instead of saying, “We need a new project to strengthen our client relationships, will you please send emails to our top 50 clients?” A good leader will start the conversion with, “What are some ideas that can help us generate better relationships with our clients?” This not only gives employees a sense of ownership over a project, but you may have new, innovative ideas come from this type of discussion.”— Sacha Ferrandi, Founder of Source Capital Funding
“Great leaders earn respect by being humble. They leave the 'my way or the highway' mentality at the door. They also roll up their sleeves and work with the team by brainstorming and sharing ideas to work through complex issues. They foster an atmosphere where it’s not only acceptable, but also desirable, for the team to ask a lot of questions. Great leaders are also honest about the fact that they don't know every answer, and that they'll know a lot more two years from now than they do today. Having the ability to recognize that the concept of continuous improvement—and learned knowledge in general— applies to management, is an exceptional indicator that your leadership is in the right hands.
It all starts with seeking information from experienced members of your team. After you’ve been in a position for a while, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. A great way to counteract that is by asking team members for advice and input. They’ll draw upon their life, career experience and bring an added sense of value to the table. In turn, a great leader will listen and adapt ideas to suit their current circumstances. Taking a collaborative attitude often creates better solutions than simply trying to solve everything on your own.”—Jeremy Young, CEO at Tanga.com
The key to success in any industry starts with finding a method of successful leadership that works best for your company. If you have any tips for improving leadership results, be sure to leave them in the comments below!