Leadership is the major factor that makes everything work together seamlessly; without leadership, all other business resources are ineffective.
Leaders recognize their need to attract followers. Happy and trustworthy followers are keys 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.
The 3 C’s of Change Leadership
Researchers found that 3 skills provide the necessary connection between the process part of change and the people part of change. These 3 C’s unite effective change leadership:
Unsuccessful leaders tended to focus on the “what” behind the change. Successful leaders communicated the “what” and the “why.” Leaders who explained the purpose of the change and connected it to the organization’s values or explained the benefits created stronger buy-in and urgency for the change.
Bringing people together to plan and execute change is critical. Successful leaders worked across boundaries, encouraged employees to break out of their silos, and refused to tolerate unhealthy competition. They also included employees in decision-making early on, strengthening their commitment to change. Unsuccessful change leaders failed to engage employees early and often in the change process.
Successful leaders made sure their own beliefs and behaviors supported change, too. Change is difficult, but leaders who negotiated it successfully were resilient and persistent, and willing to step outside their comfort zone. They also devoted more of their own time to the change effort and focused on the big picture. Unsuccessful leaders failed to adapt to challenges, expressed negativity, and were impatient with a lack of results.
Remember that the relationships team members establish among themselves are every bit as important as those you establish with them. As the team begins to take shape, pay close attention to the ways in which team members work together and take steps to improve communication, cooperation, trust, and respect in those relationships.
Emphasize the importance of each team member's contribution and demonstrate how all of them operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal.
Every business could benefit from an overview of its leadership style. Take, for example, a new CEO in an established company- they may benefit from altering their leadership style to be more in line with the current sensibility of the company (they may find leadership coaching helpful in this situation).
Trust is essential to an effective team, because it provides a sense of safety. When your team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable to open up, take appropriate risks, and expose vulnerabilities.
Without trust there's less innovation, collaboration, creative thinking, and productivity, and people spend their time protecting themselves and their interests – this is time that should be spent helping the group attain its goals.
With effective leadership, you discover you are capable of more than you imagined. This is a powerful philosophy that requires reciprocal trust between your team and yourself. Success is created with each new day, and with every glimpse of hope that opened by the leadership you provide.