Leadership Tips for Kicking Off 2015
The inspiration for our first leadership tips for 2015 comes from Victor Lipman, a Forbes columnist. His recommendations for kicking off 2015 as a more engaged and effective leader can be summed up in five basic points. We like them because these five all reflect leadership behaviors we strive to habitualize in our own work with clients.
1. Align individual economic interests with company performance – You may not have complete control of compensation and incentives, but think about what is within your control as a manager (take the afternoon off, buy your spouse a dinner on me, etc.) How can you use those “perks” to reward and motivate employees? And can you go to bat for employees to gain approval for occasional bigger rewards? It never hurts to ask!
2. Take a genuine interest in the future path of an employee’s career – This costs nothing but a slice of your time, and is time you should invest as a priority. Nothing shows you care more than helping with your employee’s future professional prosperity. Bring all the tools you can access to the project: Mentoring, coaching, additional training, access to your peers and bosses, special high-profile projects.
3. Take a genuine interest in their work-life balance – This can dovetail with point 1 above: What is the emotional and financial value of being able to fulfill family commitments, doctors’ appointments and so on without sidelong glances from management and “banker’s hours today, Bob?” comments. “Small gestures often make a big difference” in raising engagement, wrote Lipman in stressing this point.
4. Listen – By this we mean with both ears and your brain. This also costs nothing but time, and has great value for you as a leader in finding the ideas that lead to greater team performance. Each conversation builds trust and communicates how much you care. You will have to listen to an occasional litany of employee “problems, concerns, frustrations, conflicts, dramas, kids’ issues, parents’ issues, grandparents’ issues,” as Lipman notes. “You do have to separate the wheat from the chaff and as a manager…but within reason, intelligent listening is an integral part of the job.”
5. Do unto others as you would have done unto you – The Golden Rule does apply here: Imagine how you would prefer your boss manages you. Is that how you are working with your own employees? Respect your employees as individuals, and for the job they do.
What do you think? Have you used the turn of the year to recommit to embedding better leadership habits? How have you started? What is your plan for February and March?
Let us know how we can help. We have a lot of experience getting teams back on beam and moving aggressively in the right direction!