Globally we are going through a time of great change – we see it in our economy, we see it in changing societal norms, we see it the leaps and bounds that science and technology are taking. With change comes opportunity; opportunity for diversity, opportunities for innovation, opportunities for leadership.
As leaders – be it managers, business owners or community leaders these challenges will either make or break us and the people around us. Our biggest challenge is in finding the right buttons to push, to encourage people to be the victors not victims in their story/situation.
What Makes The Difference
The difference between this being a trying, harrowing time, and a time of opportunity and achievement lies largely with those who step up to lead people through the change. It is strong leaders that see options or even opportunities where other people cannot see past interim struggles and barriers.
Such leaders remain positive and forward-focused, and communicate this to their team. They value and listen to their people in order to understand their wants and needs. Their vision will inspire others because it will be delivered in a way that is real and meaningful to these individuals, enabling the leader to capture their hearts and minds and in doing so lead people towards a common goal/success.
Individuals follow great leaders because they believe that achieving that vision will deliver outcomes they too personally value. Finding out what drives people especially in times plagued with negative press and economic challenges, is key to keeping people motivated.
So, How Do You Do This?
The Top 4 rules of thumb I’ve followed in regards to leadership are:
1) Seek first to understand, then to be understood
2) Know what is important and never, never, NEVER give up (Good old Churchill)
3) The process is as important as the outcome – So look after your people, give them the chance to shine, support them in achieving the vision.
4) Your communication is defined by the response you get. It doesn’t matter if you had the best intention or strategy in the world, if your people don’t get it; you aren’t likely to achieve it! So communicate regularly and meaningfully.
When Is Now The Right Time?
People look to leaders most in times of challenge and change, so now is a time for leaders to step up, look ahead, and get people excited and focused on what they can control and achieve. Motivation is created when people identify something they want and believe they have the capacity or resources to achieve it. At its core, leadership is really about motivating others toward a shared goal and direction.
There’s a lot more to it of course, leadership is an art as much as it is a skill, but these rules of thumb are a good start in moving people towards a positive future.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Pro Activate Leadership Training for more on how you can develop your leadership skills and approach.