Becoming a more impactful leader is a challenging and rewarding journey that can transform your organisation and elevate your team’s performance. As an executive team leader, manager, or small business owner, you are responsible for not only leading your team but also for bringing out the best in them. If you are struggling with the people management aspects of your role and feeling overwhelmed with the volume of tasks or decisions that require you to keep things moving, then this article is for you.
Stop Telling, Start Asking
One of the common mistakes that leaders make is constantly telling people what to do. This approach may work in the short term, but in the long run, it leads to a lack of ownership and accountability in your team.
Instead, try asking questions to understand the root cause of the problem, identify potential solutions, and empower your team to make decisions. This will not only build trust with your team but also help them develop problem-solving skills and take ownership of their work.
Solutions to apply:
- Hold regular one-on-one meetings with your team members to understand their challenges and offer support. Ask open-ended questions that encourage them to share their thoughts, ideas, and solutions.
- Encourage your team members to take ownership of their work and make decisions. Provide them with the necessary resources, training, and support to help them succeed.
- Empower your team members to solve problems by asking questions that help them think critically and develop solutions. Avoid jumping in and solving the problem yourself, as this can undermine their confidence and sense of ownership.
- Recognise and reward your team members’ contributions and successes. This will motivate them to continue taking ownership of their work and make decisions that benefit the team and organization.
- Foster a culture of open communication, trust, and transparency. This will encourage your team members to speak up, share their ideas, and take ownership of their work.
By implementing these leadership solutions, you can shift from a telling to an asking approach, build trust with your team, and empower them to take ownership of their work.
Another challenge that leaders face is delegating tasks to their team. You may think it’s quicker to do things yourself than to hand them over to someone else, but this approach can lead to burnout and lack of scalability.
Effective delegation requires understanding your team’s strengths, setting clear expectations, providing resources and support, and holding them accountable for their work. This will not only free up your time but also allow your team to develop their skills and take on more responsibilities.
Solutions to apply:
- Understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify the right person for the job and delegate tasks that align with their skills and interests.
- Set clear expectations and deadlines. Provide your team with a detailed explanation of what you expect from them, what success looks like, and the timeline for completion.
- Provide the necessary resources and support. This could include training, mentoring, and access to tools and equipment required to complete the task.
- Communicate regularly with your team. Provide feedback, answer questions, and offer support when needed.
- Hold your team accountable for their work. Set up regular check-ins to ensure that tasks are on track and completed to a high standard. Provide constructive feedback and recognition when appropriate.
- Build trust with your team. Delegate tasks in a way that shows you trust their abilities and respect their contributions.
By implementing these leadership solutions, you can effectively delegate tasks, free up your time, and allow your team to develop their skills and take on more responsibilities. This will not only improve the efficiency and productivity of your team but also help to develop a culture of trust and collaboration.
Foster a Culture of Ownership and Accountability
Creating a culture of ownership and accountability is critical to scaling your team or organisation. It requires setting clear goals, aligning your team’s efforts, providing regular feedback, and holding your team accountable for their actions.
When your team understands their role in achieving the organisation’s goals and feels responsible for their work, they will take ownership of their work and strive to do their best.
Solutions to apply:
- Set clear goals: Set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Communicate these goals to your team and align their efforts towards achieving them.
- Develop a shared vision: Involve your team in creating a shared vision for the organization. This will help them understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the organisation and develop a sense of ownership.
- Provide regular feedback: Provide timely and constructive feedback to your team on their performance. This will help them understand their strengths and weaknesses, and work towards improving their performance.
- Hold your team accountable: Set up accountability mechanisms to ensure that your team is responsible for their work. This could include regular check-ins, progress reports, and performance evaluations.
- Create a culture of transparency: Be open and transparent with your team. Share information about the organization’s performance, challenges, and opportunities. This will help your team understand how their work contributes to the organisation’s success and develop a sense of ownership.
- Recognise and reward good performance: Recognise and reward your team for their good performance. This will encourage them to take ownership of their work and strive to do their best.
By implementing these leadership solutions, you can create a culture of ownership and accountability that will help your team take ownership of their work, align their efforts towards achieving the organization’s goals, and work towards achieving the organization’s vision.
Build a Strong Team
Building a strong team is not only about hiring the right people but also about developing their skills and creating a culture of collaboration and support. Encourage your team to share their ideas and feedback, recognise and reward their contributions, and provide opportunities for them to grow and develop.
When your team feels valued and supported, they will be more engaged, committed, and productive.
Solutions to apply:
- When hiring, look for candidates who have the skills and experience needed for the job, but also align with the organization’s values and culture.
- Provide regular training and development opportunities to help your team develop their skills and grow professionally. This could include attending conferences, workshops, or online courses.
- Encourage your team to share their ideas, thoughts, and feedback. Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions.
- Recognise and reward your team for their contributions and achievements. This could include promotions, bonuses, or public recognition.
- Foster a culture of collaboration and support by encouraging your team to work together and support each other. Create opportunities for your team to work on projects together and build relationships.
- Provide your team with a clear career path that outlines the steps they need to take to achieve their professional goals. This will help them stay motivated and committed to their work.
By implementing these leadership solutions, you can build a strong team that is engaged, committed, and productive. This will help your organization achieve its goals and create a culture of collaboration, growth, and support.
Create a Clear Path Forward
Finally, to become a more impactful leader, you need to create a clear path forward for your team or organisation. This requires setting a clear vision, aligning your team’s efforts, and communicating the plan effectively.
When your team understands where the organisation is headed and how their work contributes to achieving its goals, they will be more motivated, engaged, and committed. This requires effective communication, goal setting, and strategic planning.
Solutions to apply:
- Develop a clear and compelling vision for your organization that inspires and motivates your team. Communicate this vision regularly and ensure that everyone is aligned towards achieving it.
- Set specific and measurable goals that align with your organization’s vision. This will help your team understand what they need to achieve and how their work contributes to the organization’s success.
- Develop a strategic plan that outlines the steps needed to achieve your organization’s goals. Communicate this plan to your team and ensure that everyone understands their role in achieving it.
- Align your team’s efforts towards achieving the organization’s goals. Ensure that everyone understands how their work contributes to the organization’s success and provide the necessary resources and support to help them achieve their goals.
- Communicate regularly with your team to keep them informed about the organization’s progress and any changes in direction. Provide feedback, answer questions, and offer support when needed.
- Hold yourself accountable for achieving the organization’s goals. Ensure that you are leading by example and are committed to achieving the vision you have set for your organization.
By implementing these leadership solutions, you can create a clear path forward for your team or organization, align everyone’s efforts towards achieving a common goal, and create a culture of motivation, engagement, and commitment.
Become A More Impactful Leader
In conclusion, becoming a more impactful leader requires a mindset shift from telling to asking, effective delegation, fostering a culture of ownership and accountability, building a strong team, and creating a clear path forward. By following these principles, you can bring out the best in your people, scale your team or organisation, and achieve your goals. Remember that leadership is a journey, not a destination, and that continuous learning, growth, and improvement are essential to becoming an effective leader.