Leadership includes a broad spectrum of choices, behaviours and actions, and there are 3 dimensions, focusing on which we can succeed as leaders: one to many, one to one, and one. During a LIVENAR I held recently, we’ve covered main ideas on how to navigate different situations, and today I’d like to get a bit deeper into some of the practical things that can help you be a more successful leader in the virtual world 2020 has thrown us into.
One to many leadership is all about people
Leading a team is not only about having the work done. Firstly, it is about the social aspect. Even though it sounds easy, providing employees with a space for self-expression can be a daunting task.
Here is an example of how to do that:
Start noticing and appreciating diversity in your workspace. Let your employees share about their hobbies online. Hearing a short lecture about brewing beer at home, getting to see a performance piece your accountant is practicing for his theatre circle, or getting a virtual cooking masterclass by a culinary enthusiast from your engineering team will let your people show different sides of themselves and create a sense of community where differences are appreciated and encouraged.
We work with other people all the time, yet not always do we really know them. See if you can come up with a schedule for personal meetings between two colleagues, during which they’d have 15 minutes to get to know each other better and see how they can support each other. Relationships spreading across the functions and departments in your organization will significantly boost collaboration and productivuty. Just remember – you shouldn’t pressure people into those initiatives. Best way to engage others is by leading with own example, like scheduling one virtual lunch or walk per week with the employees you don’t interact with daily.
One to one leadership sets your employee as a priority
As a leader, you need to make sure that you’re nurturing a personal relationship with each employee and showing them the importance of self-care. Being fully aware of the well-being situation of every employee turns your company into a thriving and successful place.
One of the tools to help your team be more self-efficient and motivated is to encourage self-awareness. Mood evaluation is one of the techniques worth trying. You can use basic white-board or any software to ask your employees to write down their mood in the beginning and the end of the day. No need to make it fancy – simple 1 to 5 scale or even emoji options would suffice. If using Slack or any other tool for team communication, set up a channel for the mood check-in, or automatic reminders for people to reflect on that daily. This will help you to have a more personal approach to each individual member of the team, knowing when and where they might need a bit of extra support.
One: self-leadership is a key to success
The dimension of one: self-leadership. A company can only be as good as its leader, and its success starts with you. As a leader, you either pave the way for your people, or you stand in the way. So invest in yourself to make sure you are not in the way of your employees’ and your company’s success. Self-leadership dimension applies even if you are a freelancer or a solopreneur.
Being vulnerable and open to learn doesn’t come from a place of weakness but from the place of strength. Openness and trust in others, especially when you have to manage-it-all is a crucial part of achieving great results. It’s good to remember that even when we work by ourselves, we are never alone. Investing in your mental health via therapy, coaching, and training is a great starting point for your lifestyle to be healthy and sustainable.
I love to think about examples from math and statistics, when thinking about leadership. There are generally two types of extremums: maxima and minima. Both of them can be local and global. Local maxima – is the highest point in your leadership that you’ve ever reached so far. Even though it’s already a great achievement – there is more for you to explore. Global maxima – is the point of your possible greatest achievement.
Sometimes we believe that what we currently have is all we’ve ever going to have and don’t strive to learn and become a better version of ourselves. Only through searching and exploring can we ever get to the global maxima of our leadership potential.
Don’t forget that you can always listen to the recording of this LIVENAR
With all my love and care,