Key Messages That Help Leaders Break Down Barriers
I’m currently working on my first book that will be published by McGraw Hill in 2021. It has me thinking about my experience as a leader, as well as those leaders who have impacted my life and career. We all recall at least one leader in our career–either because they served as an inspirational force that propelled us to where we are today, or because they were the source of aggravation and demoralization that still haunts us. I don’t believe any leader starts out to be the latter, but nonetheless at some point in time everyone can attest to experiencing that type of leadership.
In the book, I talk about 7 key messages that help leaders break down barriers that prevent them from being aspirational. Here are few to consider:
Personal Awareness & Authenticity
Share your process. It is important for your team to understand the personal values and beliefs that shape how you lead. If there is transparency in your leadership, it will foster the same from your people. It will also help you have a better understanding of their thought process, how they work and how to help them be more effective and efficient.
If there is transparency in your leadership, it will foster the same from your people. In addition, if you expect others to learn new technologies, adapt to changing customers’ needs and innovate how work gets done, then you have to demonstrate your willingness to learn as well.
Demonstrate the importance of continuous learning. This could include participating in certification programs to gain more knowledge about your industry or a workshop on leadership skills that help you become more connected with your team. More importantly, it is spending time learning from your employees who are the experts at what they do. Join them in the warehouse, on the sales floor or in the field. Invite them to educate you on what is happening in the company. In addition, if you expect others to learn new technologies, adapt to changing customers’ needs and innovate how work gets done, then you have to demonstrate your willingness to learn as well.
Be present with your people in the moment. Listen, empathize and relate to those you lead, while also demonstrating vulnerability so that they can relate to you. The more that you are tuned into their needs, desires and aspirations, you are better able to help them achieve success personally and professionally, a win-win for your company.