Through lockdowns and with rapidly changing work environments including remote working, it will become ever more critical to manage and lead through adopting high trust models, with a focus on outcomes and deliverables and with the ability to uplift and grow capability. This requires a coaching and challenger style of leadership, with clearly communicated links to business direction, measurable outcomes and deliverables. In addition, provide a safe environment for people to contribute, learn from failures and equally challenge and be challenged.
Rate yourself on the below scale and ask the following to start:
Do your people and peers feel they can comfortably challenge your thinking or have they stopped trying?
When did you last feel discomfort and move ahead anyway with something?
Does your team function and make decisions whether you are there or not or are they dependant on your approval and input?
Have you asked your people recently what ideas they have to move the business forward and when did you last act on this?
As leaders we have a responsibility to provide stretch and growth opportunities. Much of this can be achieved by adopting a coaching style which focuses on helping our people to ask the right questions, create their own solutions and to take ownership for their actions and remit.
A trap leaders commonly fall into, is wanting to be the ‘go to’ or ‘expert’, thus encouraging people to come to them for solutions, rather than undertaking their own discovery, coming up with possible solutions and knowing when they need to check in and test thinking or move straight to action. Whilst this is most often driven from a place of wanting to add value and help people (from a good place) this can be a very restrictive and growth limiting style, which ultimately will mean you, as a leader, are often spending most of your valuable time in the weeds, versus focusing on direction, strategy, people development & engagement, and overall business growth.
Whilst this may at times be the fastest way to get from A to Z, the reality is that we limit others growth and create dependence and a culture of reduced confidence in making decisions, fear to act and one where people become reactive vs creative in their modus operandi.
If you think you may be at risk of falling into some of these traps … the first thing to do is ask yourself the following:
1.What would look different if I gave others more trust to make decisions?
2. Am I providing opportunities for others to grow and contribute fully? What could this look like if this changed?
3. How do others perceive me and my style of leadership? How do I monitor this and start to ask these questions to better understand areas I can grow, evolve and adapt?
For further self-discovery, you may wish to check out the following: