How do you define leadership? Kevin Kruse, Founder & CEO of LEADx, defines leadership as “a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.” In the working world, we look up to management, to those who hold a certain position, title, or seniority but having these attributes does not make someone a good leader. Being a good leader is about embodying the vision/mission and inspiring others by acting as a role model. It is easy for us to get lost in the day-to-day and it takes a good leader to create a path, be a guide, and inspire others enough to willingly follow.
Challenges leaders are facing today…
These unprecedented times pose extraordinary challenges for leaders in the world today. Leaders must go against their instincts in this time of crisis/uncertainty. Usually, a leader must gather all their facts before acting, but these days it is crucial to act with urgency. Leaders are asked to downplay a threat and withhold bad news but instead, they must communicate with transparency. Leaders are taking on more responsibility than ever before whilst putting out fires left and right.
Organizations are filled with burnt-out leaders and dissatisfied employees. Organizations are faced with the task of rebuilding cohesion and curbing attrition. It is not just up to those in a senior role to take on this task. Everyone in the organization can act as a leader in the role that they’re currently in. Take this time to reflect on this: are you empowering your employees to be leaders? What tools does your organization have on its belt so that your talent pool is maximized? The Predictive Index 2021 People Management Report, outlines the top 5 skills employees value in a manager is confidence, effective communication, and honesty. These traits are muscles that we all have the capability of exercising every day.
How to encourage leadership in your organization?
Make empathic, strength-based management a priority for your organization.
Organize your culture around identifying and nurturing employee strengths, taking care to create a good job fit when hiring, but also using employees’ natural behavioral drives and motivations as a basis for development.
Make self-awareness a priority.
Set the expectation for every leader in the company to be self-aware and to make a conscious effort to understand the needs and behaviors of those on their teams and communicate with them accordingly. Making empathy and self-awareness a priority will be the flame that will ignite the leaders in your organization.
Give managers the tools they need to be successful.
You’ll need to provide managers with strategies and training to understand, support, and challenge each of their employees from their own world. These tools can take the form of behavioral and cognitive assessments, as well as other methods that help leaders manage each employee as an individual.
The information these behavioral tools generate lets your managers establish strong relationships with their teams because they’re fostered on being empathetic and understanding of each others’ differences, and seeing those differences as beautiful.