Blog from our global partner: Maria Drew, Career Partners International – Florida/Caribbean.
A once common belief was that the best leaders treated everyone equally and consistently. However, the newest thinking on the subject is that this does not drive organizational or even personal success. Instead the best approach is to be a flexible leader who provides each individual team member with the type of leadership that person needs to thrive. In other words don’t give everyone the same tools, but instead provide the tools each individual requires for success.
When we observe and understand the changing ecosystem in which we live today, we clearly recognize that the command and control autocratic approach to leadership is not what current times demand. Our complex economy requires a team of thinkers, not just doers. An autocratic approach simply produces people who (hopefully) do what they are told. As a result, if the leader doesn’t think of all the possibilities, his or her team won’t either.
The great leaders of today and tomorrow are those who can inspire and motivate global thinking. Global doesn’t simply refer to geography, but to a comprehensive view of the business that refrains from confining thoughts to one individual’s functional perspective. When global thinking is present, true synergy occurs among team members. All of a sudden one plus one equals three, or maybe even four. So, how do leaders achieve this multiplying factor with their teams?
- Leaders must come to the realization that everyone is motivated by different things and these may differ from leader’s motivation. Leaders first need to reach a deep awareness of their own human characteristics, motivations, accelerators and barriers. This involves deep introspection and honesty with one’s self about beliefs and behaviors.
- Leaders should look at their teams and understand each individual for who they are and their specific characteristics. Look at what motivates them individually, their accelerators and barriers.
- Develop a plan to address each individual’s motivators for their own growth and organizational success yet in a manner that unites the team and allows them to work more effectively as a unit.
- The final, never-ending step is to have the courage to take action.
It sounds like a simple process, after all, it’s only four steps. However, the intricacy lies in the sub steps, as every action elicits another action. Additionally, it’s not necessarily our natural tendency to approach leadership and team dynamics in this manner. This requires a purposeful and carefully developed approach as a leader.
In order to keep the integrity of the process, an internal mentor and external coach provides leaders with the best platform for development: institutional knowledge and external best practices. This ensures that internal wisdom is maintained while fresh ideas and approaches are introduced to the leader.
To stay competitive and grow in our economy, this is imperative and integral to leaders’ success.
What are you doing to prepare your leaders for a future that is forever changing? Give leaders the tools they need to develop themselves and their teams for organizational success.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”