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A commonality to strong organizations is a coordinated and talented leadership team. Sure,
many people can sit in a corner office and delegate responsibilities, but being an effective leader is more than being a taskmaster. Effective leaders positively impact their team and the company as a whole. Teams directed by successful leaders tend to feel more connected to their work and the organization. This of course has effects on morale, productivity and ultimately a company’s bottom line.
How can your organization ensure that your team leaders are reaching their full potential?
Below are eight methods for improving leadership among your teams that will augment leaders, teams and the entire organization.
Eight Methods for Improving Leadership Among Your Teams at a Glance:
1. Set clear and visible goals
2. Create a culture of assessment, upskilling and feedback
3. Value accountability and responsibility
4. Build transparency and trust
5. Create a continuous performance program
6. Welcome different leadership styles
7. Invest in ongoing development
8. Recognize and reward high performing leaders
1. Set Clear and Visible Goals
One of the first things to do in improving leadership among your teams is to set goals for your leaders. Define what it means to be a good leader within your company. When making goals, be SMART - set goals that are:
The goals must be easy to understand. Cryptic or vague goals are of little value, as are goals
that are not visible and only known by a select few. While goals should be challenging, they
should also be attainable. Having clear and visible goals is a must since effective leadership
depends on leading others toward a shared set of objectives.
2. Create a Culture of Assessment, Upskilling and Feedback
Leadership effectiveness depends a great deal on a leader’s openness to improvement. Self-assessments, upskilling and reskilling are part of this solution. So is a culture of positive
feedback on performance.
A true culture of feedback is not a one-way street. Leaders should give positive and constructive feedback to employees, but also be open to feedback from their workers. This is absolutely critical to acknowledging and appreciating gaps in one’s leadership style. Self-assessment of leadership skills will invariably have blind spots. The perspective of those being led is critical to accelerating the effectiveness of a leader.
3. Value Accountability and Responsibility
Leaders need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Setting an example of how to behave is
paramount, which among other things, means being accountable and responsible for their
actions. Leaders should identify which competencies they need to shore up to be more
successful leaders. Maybe their time management skills could use some sharpening. Maybe soft skills like empathy could be enhanced. When leaders are committed to working on their skills, they set an example for others to follow. This invariably augments their effectiveness as leaders and triggers a positive feedback trend within the team.
4. Build Transparency and Trust
Improving leadership among your teams requires employee trust. To go from having employees follow a manager out of expectation because they are subordinates, to following a leader’s example because employees trust them requires transparency and credibility.
Leaders must adopt a transparent approach in the way all employees are treated. There is zero tolerance for playing favourites, keeping secrets, practicing nepotism or having any other kind of biases against any employees. All workers must be treated fairly. All work processes, policies and expectations must be transparent. Acting in any other way will simply not gain the confidence you need to truly lead them.
5. Create a Continuous Performance Management Program
Leaders influence workers to not only attain team and company goals, they also inspire
employees toward higher levels of performance. As such, continuous employee performance management is inherently a part of good leadership.
Measuring employee performance and providing positive feedback and corrective interventions as part of an ongoing program facilitates employee development and morale. It also shows that leaders are invested in their workers, which further bolsters trust in a leader and their validity to lead.
6. Welcome Different Leadership Styles
There are core principles to being a good leader, such as being an active listener, leading by
example and having high emotional intelligence. There is not, however, one correct approach to manifesting these principles. There are many leadership styles identified by academics and leadership experts. Welcome them all.
Improving leadership among your teams means allowing various leadership styles to flourish in your company. This encourages diversity of thought, from which follows innovation and a culture of openness. What’s more, no two people will thrive in the same conditions and under the same style of leadership. The more adaptive your company is to serving employees’ ranging needs, the more likely your teams are to be productive and to retain talent.
7. Invest in Ongoing Development
Good leaders are constantly striving to hone their abilities and bolster weaknesses so they
exemplify the traits that inspire others to follow them. Feed a leader’s instinct for continual
improvement by investing in an ongoing development program.
Leaders should be encouraged to take leadership education courses, as well as trainings that enhance other skills required of their position. Also, create viable and clear paths for
advancement within your organization, which can be tied to leadership training. This can be a great motivator for workers not yet in key leadership positions but showing leadership promise.
8. Recognize and Reward High-Performing Leaders
Track the leaders’ performance and reward those who are performing their best, and just as
importantly, inspiring their team to perform their best. As mentioned above, the key indicators of good leadership performance should be made clear and visible. Recognize those managers who hit the marks of good leadership and reward them appropriately.
Nurturing good leaders takes time and effort. Establishing a comprehensive leadership program that takes into account these eight tips on improving leadership among your teams can be a game-changer in leadership development within your organization. Such a program can facilitate a highly-effective leadership team that leads the organization to unparalleled success.