There are a number of inconvenient truths in today’s business world, particularly around leadership. One truth is that if team members are depressed, unfocused and/or underperforming, it is often due to their leadership. By facing this truth directly you have taken the first step towards improving your team’s work environment, morale and productivity.
What is True Leadership?
Studies have shown that many team members feel their leaders have a distorted sense of what true leadership is. Many times those in leadership will mistakenly fill the role of manager over that of a leader. This is most evident in the authoritative way they treat their team members. A true leader should be a role model of behavior, serve as a mentor, and be the first to provide motivation and constructive feedback for performance improvement.
What Qualities Do Team Members Desire in a Leader?
There are certain qualities that team members respect and admire from a leader. When they see and recognize these traits, they are more likely to follow the lead and tend to be happier in their work life, which in turn makes them more productive. Some of the most important qualities for leaders to consistently demonstrate are:
- Integrity and fairness
- Honest and trustworthy
- Vision, wisdom and rational thinking
- Decision Making
Leaders who remain conscious of these qualities and constantly strive to display them will find it easier to maintain a positive and productive team.
How Do You Inspect Yourself?
If you are in a leadership role I encourage you to consistently seek feedback to ensure that you are contributing positively to your teams’ morale and productivity. There are a few ways that you can accomplish this:
- Written evaluation: Request 360 feedback from your team members to evaluate your ability to consistently demonstrate important leadership qualities.
- Compliance evaluation: Some companies will bring in an outside party or have a department designated to ensure that leaders are properly fulfilling their roles.
- Self evaluation: Take some time to research different leadership tactics and establish a plan of action to implement. Set aside time to reflect on how well you have executed on your plan utilizing performance results and employee morale as your gauge.
Whatever approach you take, it is important that you remain open to assess your progress and remain open to change. Remember there is always room to grow, and a great leader is critical to creating and leading a great team.
Facing the inconvenient truth is not always easy; however, it is necessary for growth. Today’s leader must be capable of establishing positive morale and building high performing teams. By recognizing areas for improvement, implementing necessary leadership tactics and evaluating your effectiveness along the way, you can create necessary change and become the exception to the inconvenient truth!