Liz's Latest Articles
You've just had an urgent problem dumped on your desk, posed to you in a meeting, or presented to you by a client. The situation is tense. Emotions are starting to flare, and all eyes are looking to you to act. What do you do? Do you react with a knee-jerk solution? Do you calm the situation with an acceptable solution? Or, do you stop, think, and work to identify a solution that's going to allow you to think, "I'm glad I took the time to think that through"?
Do you stop, think, and work to identify a solution that's going to allow you to reflect later, "I'm glad I took the time to think that through"?
What does it feel like when you walk next to team members as you enter your building? What is your team’s energy level when you log onto a team video call or walk into a team meeting? As you pass others in the hallway, overhear conversations, and observe your team members perform their work, do they look and act excited and energized, or do they look tired, frustrated, or numb? Your team members’ view of their individual and collective work sets the tone for your entire organization, and it establishes how productive or unproductive your organization will or won’t be.
My mom shared an impactful saying with me when I was in my teens. She said,
“You are the average of the five people with whom you most often associate.”
I don’t remember the specifics of the conversation, but I do know she was subtly telling me to continue to be smart in whom I chose to befriend. I’ve heeded her advice and it’s never let me down. This advice applies to us in the workplace and as leaders too. In the workplace and as leaders, you are the average of the five people with whom you most often spend time, listen to, give your time and energy to, and become associated with. Who are you allowing to influence you, access your time, tap into your energy and wisdom, and impact your reputation and brand?
Being able to communicate clearly is a skill essential to any leader. That’s no surprise. Clear hand-off communication is imperative when transferring a strategic initiative to a new project team. It’s a must for business owners and CEOs when articulating strategies for company-wide enhancements. In addition, a 2016 study by Korn Ferry found organizations that were able to achieve a high level of engagement with their employees realized 4.5 times greater revenue growth than those with the lowest-engaged employees. A key factor in engagement is clear communication from leadership. Engaged employees are connected to the company. They understand their roles. They understand what is expected of them. And, they feel as if they’re understood and valued as individuals. So besides simply telling your employees what they need to do and how they fit in, what are you doing to ensure you are communicating with them in ways that resonate with them individually?
A CEO called because after two years in his role, his executive team was performing well, but they weren’t ‘gelling.’ Work was getting done, but at times it seemed random and chaotic. Though collegial and highly qualified, his senior team didn’t work well together, and as a result, the work throughout the organization was disjointed and becoming more siloed. “I’ve used Leadership 360s with prior teams in other organizations, and they’ve proven to be a good tool in identifying where we each need to hone our skills,” he said, “I think they can help my current team too.” I assured him they could. But an assessment alone wasn’t going to address his team’s challenges.