Have you ever been to a business where the vibe is so amazing you almost want to quit your job or business to be a part of it? It’s amazing how one feels around a great group of people who respect and honor each other.
That kind of environment is not by accident. It is purposely created and it all starts with the head honchos. That’s right it starts with the leadership of that organization.
When behavior through the organization is consistent with the stated vision, mission objectives of the organization the leadership is effective.
Our job as leaders is to bring out the best behavior in our followers. Our real job is leading change. We teach the change by showing how to do it and creating a safety net for them to apply what we taught, make mistakes and learn.
Leaders don’t change organizations, leaders change people and people change the organization.
We do that by:
Changing ourselves first.
It has to start with the man in the mirror. We have to be able to emulate what we want to see in our organization.
Confront/ question the assumptions that we or our team has.
This is vital! So often we assume that our team understands the vision or instructions when they don’t. This leads to delays, missed deadlines and even strife between team members. Communicating, addressing questions and assumptions brings clarity and puts everyone on the same page.
Challenge their beliefs and get them to clarify their thinking
Clarity is the oil that makes the machine a well-oiled machine. Depending on where that team member worked before they may have adopted limiting beliefs about what is and isn’t possible. They may have had a bad leader and have adopted a belief that leadership can’t be trusted, therefore when they need help or have trouble with something they hide it. This causes issues that could have been avoided with communication. It is our job as a leader to see that in our team and when we do challenge it.
By that I don’t mean argue with them, that reinforces that belief. Instead, I mean, kindly sit them down, have a conversation about what you have observed and ask them what is leading them to believe that they can’t be open with you when they need help. If their old company fired people for needing help, this is a great opportunity to remind that person with action that this is not the culture of your company. Let them know that they will have all the support they need to learn the skills they need and that you’re more than willing to even find them a different position in the company if it’s obvious that their talent would be beneficial in a different department.
We must have open door policy and allow the team to be accountable for what happens in the organization. This will cause the staff to stretch their beliefs and grow.
You may find yourself defending tradition in one hand and encouraging radical change in the other. Example, defending the values and mission of the company but at the same time challenging the things that are choking out the life of the organization.
When we lead by modeling with our behavior we provoke respect and send a clear message that the vision and mission of your organization aren’t merely words, but rather something you all walk and live by.