If you are leading a company, a department, a team or a family you know that leadership is challenging. The key in leadership is that you are growing learning and getting better. If your not growing you are going backwards.
As a leader there are some key responsibilities and behaviors that are extremely important to long term success. Here are seven fundamental behaviors that will set you up for success.
- Set and Achieve goals – People that take the time to map out an action plan do much better than those that don’t. Writing down your most important objectives and then listing specific goals to meet that objective is a fundamental leadership behavior. It’s not only setting goals but it’s also achieving them which means you must act on those goals. That’s why it’s important to also set up deadlines and have accountability. Set goals review them regularly and do a progress report every week on how you did last week.
- Continually Innovate and Improve – Another key behavior of successful leaders is that they are always exploring and thinking about how to improve on the current way of doing things. This is a mindset of continuous improvement. How can we be more efficient? How can we streamline and improve systems? Asking those how questions keeps your organization moving forward. I like to say: what can we improve by 1% this week. If this is part of your culture then you should be getting lots of ideas and feedback form your team. Listen, discuss and let the best ideas rise to the top and then make those changes.
- Solve Problems and Make Decisions – Every unachieved goal is a problem waiting to be solved. This is how things get done and keep moving forward. You don’t want to be the bottle neck on your team. That is why you can’t be the only one solving problems and making decisions. Teaching and empowering your team is a key leadership behavior that can accelerate your companies growth and productivity. Leaders are problem solvers not just problem identifiers. Define the problem, identify possible solutions, get some feedback and then make a decision and assign it to someone with a deadline.
- Take Full Responsibility – A leader takes full responsibility for the their decisions and the success and failure of their team. As the leader you are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in your company, department, team or family. That can be scary but you can’t lead well if your afraid to take responsibility. Facing your fears and owning mistakes brings credibility and trust to your leadership.
- Be a Good Example or Role Model for Others – This is all about character. Do your actions and your words line up. Are you doing the things you want your team to do? Are you treating people the way you want to be treated? Are you making the difficult decisions and having the difficult conversations? Are you quick to admit a mistake? As a leader people are always watching you. No one is perfect so leading with integrity is not about being perfect it’s about being honest and vulnerable. If you’re a mess then your team will be a mess.
- Persuade and Inspire – A key behavior of successful leaders is the ability to persuade people to buy in to your vision. That takes a combination of good communication, being intentional and repetition. When people trust you and you can clearly articulate the vision you can keep moving in the right direction. Inspiration comes when people have bought into you as the leader and understand the vision and their part in achieving that vision. This also takes self-confidence and believing in the vision and values you have and the message you are trying to communicate.
- Get Results and Don’t make Excuses – If you’re not getting results then you are probably not doing the right things or focused on the right things. When the results are not there you don’t make excuses, you look at what is not working and make the adjustment. You admit mistakes and take responsibility.
There is much more to leadership than just these seven things but these are some of the basics that will set you up for success. Again, the key is that you are growing, learning and changing as a leader.
If your feeling stuck as a leader or organization send me an email and let’s set up a time to discuss next steps in getting unstuck. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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