Updated: Jun 1, 2020
You would know a transformational leader when you encounter one; their energy and enthusiasm for their work inspire their teammates. This type of person is not born but made.
Consider these three points to enable your leadership growth:
1. Understand your motivations
Whether you’re aware of them or not, there are underlying reasons for every choice you make. Everything from the industry you work in, to the management systems you adopt for the office—they are informed by your personality. So to be a good leader, you have to know yourself well.
Fortunately, in a post-Quiet Revolution world, there is a growing consensus that people have different leadership styles. You might be partial to inspiring speeches, while another manager might be the nurturing type, and yet another would be a strong, silent worker. All of these leadership types are effective in their own way, and you only have to focus on your own style’s strengths and weaknesses, and how these contribute to your overall impact.
Knowing what you’re good at is important, especially for days when you do not feel like your optimal self. Understanding why you go to work and how your personal vision aligns with your company’s goals unlocks opportunities for you to strive for the better. It also lets you be more empathic towards your colleagues.
2. Be interested in your team’s growth
When you can put yourself in other people’s shoes, you become invested in their performance. To be a good manager is to know your team inside out—to be aware of what each person delivers well, and what they need to work on.
If you are able to recognise and reward high performers, they will feel valued and stay productive. Aside from recognition, members would also like to work for someone who can inspire them to show up. Being a positive force in your office and encouraging people to make suggestions shows that you are passionate about what you do beyond the prestige and the paycheck it gives.
After their basic needs are met, people look for a sense of belonging and achievement. As a leader, you are their role model for these things. Helping your teammates gel as a unit and get along with the rest of the company will let them know that you’re there to support them. Of course, all of this will only be possible if you are able to listen and communicate with the group and with outside stakeholders.
3. Embrace the quirks; stay curious
At the heart of every well-functioning team is acceptance. Your subordinates are people, with their own office habits and working styles, and you may not like everything about them. But rather than fretting about how you don’t get someone, chalk that up to humanity and see how you can work with them professionally. Your colleagues will surely notice this and appreciate it. But a better step forward is turning your lack of understanding into curiosity.
Instead of staying annoyed at your junior accountant’s five desk plants, chat them up about why they like succulents so much. Who knows, you might discover something new. Steve Jobs was on to something when he said ‘stay curious.’ It can be applied to almost everything you do as a leader.
When you are curious, you are always open to new experiences and points of view. This also shows the team that you value lateral thinking and self-expression. Doing so helps them take control of their own work goals and prevent them from being discouraged.
To enable leadership and empower your team, you have to start with yourself. Being an inspiring manager is much more than conducting team building sessions. It needs you to pay attention to your coworkers, focusing on their needs, and celebrating their work successes. Understanding where people are coming from is the first step toward organisational alignment.
For managers who are looking for a more detailed, personal approach to team building and enabling leadership growth, one solution is partnering with a firm specialising in leadership uplift, and start embedding creativity and innovation into the work culture today.
If you’re looking to learn more about Leadership Uplift and growth in Melbourne and Sydney, get in touch with us today to see how we can help. We're a full-service Organisational Alignment and Leadership Uplift advisory firm, offering everything from strategy definition to organisational change, to facilitation and training.