Last month, a number of you responded to my article on leadership Must Practices, mentioning a few of your own ideas as to which practices are an absolute requirement for success. For those who’ve not had a chance to read this yet, I’m sure you’ve heard of best practices, those methods that are supposed to be what the best of breed companies are doing. While some ways of doing business are called “best” or even “innovative” yet, are not, there are a non-negotiable set of practices that are a must for any leader wanting to not only succeed, but thrive in today’s world of business.
Here are five more of these Must Practices:
You can’t short change change.
While change management processes are often overly complicated and convoluted, a Change Accelerator approach enrolls all responsible parties in getting done what matters most in a more rapid and complete manner. The most effective leaders never short change what it takes to create complete and positive change.
What your employees want is not always what they need.
If you work backwards from the desired outcomes and goals, you’ll often find that the education, processes, technology, and support are, at least some of the time, different from what people desire. Great leaders always address needs first, wants second.
Good leaders make the hard decisions. Great leaders ensure those decisions become outcomes.
Making decisions is often easier than implementing those decisions. The best leaders always ensure that initiatives become outcomes by expecting consistent follow-through to achieve the desired results.
You can’t motivate others. You can only create opportunities for people to choose passion and hunger. Motivation is an inside job.
Leaders who try to motivate end up with a less motivated workforce. Creating an environment where employees are responsible for their own initiative and drive shifts the responsibility for motivation to those who can actually make it happen.
Where there’s a will there’s a way. Your job, as a leader, is to pave the way.
Great leaders see their job as anticipating roadblocks, removing obstacles, and then getting out of the way of their direct reports. This is very different from less effective managers who are constantly pushing their people down the road, who then trip over all of the distractions and debris that is in their way.
Fully effective leadership can only happen when leaders follow these Must Practices, making them as common place as breathing. Those that do consistently breathe new life into their teams, the fresh air of a positive work environment, and the winds of collaboration that promote a continued focus on what really matters most.