In the first part of this series, we shared three key common and connected behaviors that allow leaders to flourish. When you seek to develop and implement these behaviors, it allows you to better serve your team. It also signifies your acknowledgment of the fact that leadership is an intentional process, one in which growth and study must be prioritized.
Walking the Leadership Path
Included below are four additional behaviors that an aspiring leader must seek to cultivate. Remaining focused on these traits equips you to make a lasting influence on your organization and team. (Note that these behaviors are also referenced in our book, Would You Work for You? — The Quest: Discovering the Leader Within.)
Train yourself to recognize, evaluate, and adjust organizational systems
There’s a system for everything, but who do these systems serve? Are they doing what they need to do, and are they supporting and empowering the people who operate within them?
Most people don’t possess an automatic ability to understand organizational dynamics, systems, financial operations, and more. It requires both training and intention. Leaders cannot afford to bypass the study of these topics because doing so threatens their credibility. Team members want to know that their leader is capable of making their lives better, getting them access to the tools they need, and understanding technology well enough to improve efficiency and reduce frustrations.
“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” — Peter Drucker, management consultant
A leader demonstrates their effectiveness by making the systems people have to work in every day as friendly, positive, and productive as possible.
Show genuine interest in the success of others
When you demonstrate a genuine interest in the success of your team members, including empathy for their struggles and a willingness to support their growth, you’re taking important steps toward building an amazing culture. When people hear you use the word “we” rather than the word “me,” they’re more likely to feel that they’re part of something important.
These are dynamics that permeate an organization. People become hyper-loyal to a leader who is invested in the betterment of the entire team. Team members are inspired to do their best work when they know their achievements will be seen and recognized.
Be willing and able to listen, even in stressful situations
When the pressure is on, a true leader gets calm. As a situation grows stressful, they grow quiet, clear, and focused. This isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. Typically, when things get rough, the last thing anyone wants to do is listen to someone else talk.
Isn’t it simpler to just jump in with possible solutions? But, when a leader prioritizes listening to their team members, it demonstrates their genuineness, their authenticity, their humility, and more. They put people at ease by saying, “Hey, this is going to turn out okay. There are some challenges here and I would love to hear about people’s perceptions of the challenges. Let’s sit down. Let’s have a conversation.”
“When we listen, we hear someone into existence.” ― Laurie Buchanan, PhD, author
Bring individuals together as a team
People are frequently programmed to think in individualistic terms, concerned with their own wants and needs. A leader’s goal is to bring them together and help them thrive as a team. This isn’t easy! But, if you can get your team members to move out of a “me” mindset and to a point where everyone is doing their part for the betterment of all, your organization will thrive.
The good news is that all the behaviors we’ve covered previously in this series also contribute to this goal. If you’re thinking about building relationships, putting great systems into place, leading with humility, and more, then you’re also moving your team toward sharing a common culture and purpose.
Developing these key behaviors is a way of taking ownership of your own career. You aren’t jumping into a leadership position with hope as your guide. Instead, you are choosing to proceed with intentionality. You’re asking yourself:
- Where do I need to serve better?
- Who can I engage better?
- Are there places where I can care more and offer better support?
Because, in the end, no one works for you. We all work with one another. Leadership is not an opportunity to accumulate power for its own sake, but it is a call to service.
Want to begin your leadership journey and learn how to lead yourself? Download our free eBook today!
Author, Speaker, and Change Agent.
Chris leads a dynamic team of passionate change agents who are dedicated to partnering with organizational executives to create cultures that inspire, engage and ignite the best in people. Our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams and align operation practices to delighting the customer and drive breakthrough results.
Tim, with his extensive background in education and management, is a great part of our Fired Up! team dedicated to inspiring teams and leaders. At Fired Up!, our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams, and align operation practices to engage organizations and drive breakthrough results.