Diverse workplaces call for new forms of leadership. Today’s employees and staff range in age, background, education, skills, and talents. Each of these differences contribute to competitive advantages in terms of innovative solutions and broad-based perspectives. Modern leaders understand how to leverage the potential that each individual brings to a team. Here are a few ways to transform your leadership strategies and keep your teams competitive.
Respect Everyone on the Team
Traditional leadership roles place the leader in a position of authority and imply that the leader is deserving of respect. This respect might not be earned, but it is understood that the leader must be respected and his or her commands must be followed. In some scenarios, this is an important feature of a team. However, most teams are not working within a strictly hierarchical and response-sensitive environment. Creative teams, engineering teams, marketing teams, and other collaborative efforts depend on each team member working to their fullest capacity and within the areas of their greatest strength.
Team members are more likely to reach their full collaborative and creative potential when team leaders treat everyone with respect. Ideas should be considered and not dismissed outright. Problems should be solved with everyone’s participation. Work should be distributed equally and praise should be earned, however everyone should be honestly acknowledged for their personal efforts.
Transparency and Humility
Too often, leaders hide their errors and trumpet their accomplishments. While this works well on paper or in performance reviews, team members and subordinates usually know the truth. An honest leader acknowledges errors, seeks clarity and works to develop trust among all team members. Leaders must model the behaviors they seek in their teams. If you are a leader who likes when team members seek help, admit mistakes and work together toward a common and clear goal, then it is important to model this behavior.
Walk the Talk
To truly transform traditional leadership roles into contemporary and dynamic roles requires input from all levels of management and staff. Once values and roles are created, leadership must walk the talk. In other words, the values and roles that have been created must be integrated with performance measures and promotion criteria. When new roles and measures are embedded in performance measures, executive leadership will begin to see transformation from the ground up.
Not all traditional leadership strategies can or should be changed. A company’s culture is reflected in leadership style and mission. Any changes in leadership roles and styles should be agreed upon by all team members, doing so ensures that everyone is on board with changes and that your organization remains a place of high productivity.