Article contributed by John Henderson
In my role as Director of Learning & Development, I have the privilege of occasionally working with leaders in many organizations. In the past week, I facilitated two sessions for the same organization. They wanted to give their leaders an opportunity to take time out of their busy days to focus on their own professional and personal growth.
Over the past 3 years, organizations have learned how to be more agile and nimble to survive through this pandemic. With each passing phase of the pandemic leaders needed to learn how to be “in the moment.” Successful leaders are the ones who are very self-aware of their behaviors and actions in the workplace and how it impacts those they lead and those they work for. Self-aware leaders understand their strengths, short-comings, abilities, and limitations. This awareness helps them adapt to others they work with, work for and who work for them.
As I have read many lists of what skills and attributes a leader needs to be successful the lists haven’t change drastically from year to year.
- Help their employees grow. They are effective in developing, delegating and directing their employees. They recognize what each individual needs to be successful and know how to adapt to help each person grow.
- They make their team feel valued. Leaders who include, not exclude, their direct reports in decision-making when appropriate show that they value and care for the employee. When employees feel valued they have a sense that they “belong” on the team and in the organization. A sense of “belonging” is the “B” in D, E, I & B. Diversity is representation, Equity is recognizing, Inclusion is action and Belonging is a feeling.
- They are empathetic while holding people accountable. Leaders need to be skilled at finding the right balance between empathy and accountability. Learning to relate to others with understanding and empathy is crucial – and so is being able to maintain standards of accountability where business still gets done.
- They prioritize – everyday! Great leaders get things done – and they get the most important things done first. Understanding the difference between what is urgent and what is important is a sign of a good leader. Managing your time and the time of your employees will make a more successful and enjoyable workplace.
I am always honored to be asked to help a team in their professional development. It’s an amazing feeling when you hear them sharing their own insights and challenges to leading people. I know that when they return to their workplace they will focus on being in the moment to lead people for success.