Leading to the Finish Line
With 2019 in full swing, veteran leaders across the globe have their sights on projected wins, brand growth, and an action plan for achieving the necessary goals to sustain their vision. Many leaders are keen to the art of delegation and while delegating is necessary and serves its purpose, the end result, the bigger picture, and unfathomable success will also require the presence of a strong leader.
Sound leadership includes strategic and passionate coaching and development. As a leader you are the visionary and must steer and lead your team to reaching your collective 2019 goals. Lead on purpose and lead intentionally by incorporating these three principles of leadership:
1. Powerful Association
A leader is only as good as his or her team. The ultimate goal in team building is to surround yourself with a team that feels accountable, valuable, and most importantly takes ownership. You do not want a team that is simply completing tasks and collecting paychecks. Hire and partner with someone who understands your vision and aggressively pushes for it. The following questions should be considered when deciding who you will add or retain on your team.
Are they experts in their field?
Are they accountable?
What do their colleagues say about them?
Are they genuinely excited about your product, service, or business?
In your absence, do they adequately and effectively represent your brand?
Having a weak team or negative associations is the fastest way to derail even the most brilliant leader from reaching his or her next level of success, accomplishing bold goals, and solving tough challenges. Furthermore, if your business is stuck and you have reached a roadblock, know that the answer to your business breakthrough rests on your ability to remove and replace or further develop and build capacity within and for your team. There is not a cookie cutter or direct path to success, but we could look no further than any leading company large or small, Fortune 500 or start-up, when problems arise and failures occur, staffing changes happen immediately and, in most cases, it usually begins at the top.
2. Continued Education
Leadership is consistent and never ending and so is learning and self-growth and development. Continued education is imperative for leaders and their team. Your competitors will evolve, they will keep learning, they will keep growing and so should you. Sharpen your craft, read relevant books and materials, network, attend events, workshops, etc. that will encourage your own growth and development. Most importantly, learn from your team! Never lead so “high” that you are intangible, unapproachable, unaware of your work culture, or how an aspect of your business runs, especially the finances. Lastly, encourage and provide continued education for your team members because their increased wisdom will empower them, and a wise and emboldened team equals enormous success for the organization and your vision as its leader.
3. Tangible Goals
As with every new year, resolutions are ideally great but not always realistic as most are broken within 3-5 weeks of the new year. The reason so many people, especially professionals, fall short of their yearly goals is because they are intangible, not timely, and lack accountability. Instead of several large, broad goals aim for 3-4 smaller goals you want to see achieved within a 30- or 60-day period and assign them to the people on your team best skilled to get the job done and get out of their way except for periodic accountability check-ins. Effective leadership requires not treating goals like options but expectations and milestones that must be reached. If the goals are not achieved or completed, you may have to assess what roadblocks are impeding your progress, which might include you making a difficult decision to find new talent that is better trained and experienced to help you reach your current goals, or again, provide the necessary growth and capacity development for those team members. Every goal you set for yourself and your team should:
Have a clear deadline;
Have a realistic path to success with accountability checkpoints;
Impact your organization’s bottom line and/or value; and
Be assigned to the appropriate team member with a proven track record of success.
The benefit of sound leadership is the ability to steer the wheel without micromanaging. You cannot control every moving variable, but you can surround yourself with the best people, make extended knowledge through experience and education a priority, and get organized and not just create but enforce the blueprint to success with reachable goals. This level of direction and accountability makes for a stronger leader and helps us reach every marker of continuous improvement and success.