It’s that time of year again when pumpkins turn into jack-o-lanterns, children transform into goblins and witches and leaders begin to panic that the end of the year is not far off. For many of us, once Halloween arrives, Thanksgiving, the holiday season and New Years are just around the corner. Rather than allow paralysis to set in, leaders from across the globe need to make preparations for year-end results.
In a client conversation this week, we spent time talking about how to build a stronger leadership strategy. We talked a great deal about the leadership gaps and how to persuade the other leaders that it was critical to take action before the year ends.
But you want to know the scariest part? Several of the other leaders didn’t think there was even an issue with the way they were leading. They felt that since their outside customers were being taken care of, it wasn’t important to take a look at what challenges their teams were facing.
BOO! The Halloween ghost is screaming that we can’t just meet the expectations of our external customers. We also need to delve into how our team members are managing, as we grow closer to the end of the year. Are we taking care of the precious people who are in our charge? Do we have the tools to be our strongest leaders possible?
Four Halloween tricks for leaders:
1. KNOW YOUR OWN VALUES
The secret to a strong leadership strategy is having a clear understanding of your most important values. When we identify what behaviors and attitudes drive our actions and decision-making, then we can build our own brand.
- Is an open and transparent workplace important to you at all costs?
- Are meaningful relationships key to your leadership?
- Are you more of a loner and value individual time to work on projects?
2. EMBRACE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S VALUES
Compare your individual values with those of your team and organization. Do they complement each other or do they work against one another? When our personal values are very different from our company’s values, we can run into trouble. If being empathetic towards people is something important to you and your team is less about people and more about output then you may experience internal tension. To fit in better you may either want to be a bit less about the people piece and focus more on the results. Or alternatively, you can try to bring some empathy to your team by acknowledging those behaviors when you see them.
3. HELP YOUR TEAM MEMBERS SEE HOW THEY FIT IN
The trick to impactful leadership is empowering our team members to reach their potential and develop their inner strengths. That means that leaders need to develop outstanding coaching and mentoring skills.
- Build your ability to listen without interrupting and judging
- Make a habit of asking: “What are your thoughts on this issue?”
- Give credit generously
- Provide constructive feedback with specifics and examples
- Share the “why” of team member projects
4. DECIDE ON WHICH LEADERSHIP GAPS TO FOCUS
Although we may want to change everything, it is more practical to proceed in stages. Initially brainstorm all the leadership gaps that need guidance and adjustment. Then work on which gaps to begin your journey in cultivating a stronger leadership strategy. Include others in on your decision. If you take action now, a path towards leading forward will be up and running way before the end of the year.
Enjoy Halloween and don’t let a fast approaching year-end frighten you.
What Halloween tricks have you used to grow your leadership?