Leadership that Works Effectively
There has been so much written about leadership. If you research the topic, you will find that it is defined differently by almost everyone asked. Today, I did some thinking after exploring the topic at length; my thoughts on the topic focus on leadership that works.
Now, some believe leadership is the ability to guide and direct a group of people and/or an organization. Others espouse that leadership is an innate skill that a person is blessed to be born with; thus the phrase, ‘he or she is a naturally born leader’. Others believe that leaders are formed as in those born into wealth rising to power and/or falling into leading corporations as if by birthright. Some only focus on the management aspect of leadership. Perhaps it is all of the above. But the real question is, what is leadership that works effectively?
Leadership that guides, supports, mentors, manages and helps the corporate body and all stakeholders see the impossible as possible giving them a vision of having a place within even when that place may be outside the organization as public supporters. Yes, effective leaders have vision and capacity to move people through change effectively to see the possibilities within even the most disastrous of circumstances.
Keeping in mind that companies will always face difficult decisions and challenging events including; decrease in revenue, workforce reduction, change in strategy and direction, management changes, etc. leadership that works navigates the times effectively. What then are steps necessary for leadership that works?
It is no secret that individuals within the organization comprise its corporate body. Individuals can adapt and celebrate change as a corporate body when the leader considers their well being while acting wisely making the best decisions for the company’s future. This sounds simple yet so many leaders fumble implementation missing the planning and engagement steps necessary leaving the corporate body feeling unstable, confused, fearful and overwhelmed and the company with loss of necessary talent.
Let’s first, acknowledge that change is inevitable. However, if change is not well led and managed, it can have unexpected consequences.
Effective leadership that works considers the following seven guidelines:
1. Effective communication with clear and truthful messages for all stakeholders in writing and in person.
2. Intentional engagement of all stakeholders including:
3. Reasonable timelines and a well-articulated plan to ensure all stakeholders feel included in the change process.
4. Clear definition of roles during change process for individuals in management and all levels.
5. Visible strategies for celebrating employee contributions past, present and expected.
6. Clearly delineated strategic plan outlining vision, objectives and future direction with stakeholder input.
7. Ample time and supports made available to those who will be impacted negatively by change most directly.
Needless to say, each of the seven guidelines has significant implementation steps. Leadership that works effectively acknowledges that transitions of all types are challenging at best, especially for adults when their well being and future stability are compromised.
Don’t miss Part Two: Leadership that Works Effectively