You’ve trained for it. You’ve spent years studying, amassing the experience that has put you in your current position to use your leadership skills. And yet, if you are like most leaders, you constantly ask yourself, “Am I an effective leader?” “Am I doing enough to coach my team, my department, my employees toward peak performance?” And, ultimately, “How can I be more?”
The opportunity for you to “be more” and “do more” can be further explored to learn to identify your strengths – and areas that need a little attention – so you become the leader you choose to be.
By understanding the psychology behind the habits and attitudes, beliefs and expectations that inform the human decision-making process; by understanding the process to make change management easy and stress- free; you will be miles ahead as you solve organizational “people issues” at their root cause: The human thought process and all that can affect it.
Once you change the inside – the internal belief system that controls your ability to make things happen and the release of innate skills and talents – the outside will automatically follow. You see things you overlooked before, and seize opportunities that once seemed “impossible.” As a leader, situations arise – almost on a daily basis – that require you to rely on your knowledge and experience. If you rely on the “tried and true,” then your decisions have a consistency based on the past.
We know that if we don’t learn to change our mindset, then we simply repeat what we have always known, and we are unable to move forward. It’s alright to stay the same, as long as that is all we want. But if we want to move ahead, and move our organizations ahead, we will want to shift how we think, and what we think about.
As a leader, if I want my employees or team members to be alert and aware of new opportunities, then I need to work on how I lead – especially what I say, the words I use. Am I inadvertently causing my staff to focus on one outcome, thereby blocking out every- thing else? If I am, what do I need to do to fix this?
Organizations that are going to thrive long into the future are the ones that are not afraid to set big goals, trusting in their employees – their stakeholders – to find what is needed to continue to compete against the rest of the world. These individuals, working together, will find solutions to the obstacles in their way.
You have around you a variety of people who think differently. They come from different backgrounds, with different educations, and different learning styles. This is a good thing, and creates a culture that effective leader- ship encourages! If everyone thinks the same way, everyone will miss the same opportunities. By encouraging diversity of thought, you have a much better chance of finding new, effective ways of doing business.
Leadership doesn’t know everything. Accepting this, you as a leader can empower your workforce, and put everyone working toward solutions. Have them contribute ideas. Understand that each idea represents “a way” to get something accomplished. Sometimes, there are dozens of ways to look at challenges, and each solution is “a way.” If you lock on to “the way” you run the risk of missing a quicker, less expensive, more effective way.
Unfreeze your mind.