It sounds corny, and maybe you can overdo this one, but I honestly believe many employees in young companies need constant encouragement. We live in complex, competitive times and people are inundated with too many tasks and not enough time. Technology and business life can be overwhelming, so it’s important to point out any “wins” no matter how small. And, if you do have to criticize, think seriously about the impact first.
Wishing and hoping won’t get you there. Sticking to routine will, especially when you ruthlessly measure your progress, fix what doesn’t work, and improve and repeat what does work. Success is almost guaranteed when you refine and revise and adapt and work hard every day to be better than you were yesterday.
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Yet the biggest drawback of pace-setting leadership is being too predictable. Many pace-setting leaders overwhelm team members with deadlines, and harm their creativity as they rush to finish their work.
Stay away from distractions as much as possible. Distractions are either the spice of life or the forbidden fruit, depending on your perspective. But let’s be clear: it’s almost impossible to be 100% focused on your task 100% of the time. Distractions are okay in low doses. But when your goals start taking a backseat to petty distractions, it’s time to banish them.
In the past, many people were too busy making a living to spend much time pursuing ‘higher needs’. But with all the opportunities of modern life, we can and should go further: “Deep within your heart, there is a desire, the pursuit of which will bring you all the happiness, success and fulfillment you really want. To find your passion is to identify your own unique purpose in life… You can achieve whatever you want. You can be the person you were meant to be; and you can really live the life of your dreams. Those are bold statements but they are true; and more and more people are discovering this wonderful truth for themselves.” Isn’t it about time you discovered it too?
Mittal created the world’s largest steelmaker (MT) by pursuing a decades-long, impossibly audacious plan of consolidation — working with governments, powerful labor unions, and other constituencies to rewrite the rules of the old steel industry in tough times.
But purposeful leaders don’t emerge in a vacuum; some organisations are more adept than others at creating an environment where leaders can behave purposefully. When we looked in more detail in case studies at the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, some interesting differences emerged.
2. Compassion. Too many leaders these days manage with the balance sheet, often times at the expense of their employees and long-term customer relationships. Talented people want to work for leaders and organizations that truly care about their employees and the communities in which they operate.
The transactional leader (Burns, 1978) is given power to perform certain tasks and reward or punish for the team’s performance. It gives the opportunity to the manager to lead the group and the group agrees to follow his lead to accomplish a predetermined goal in exchange for something else. Power is given to the leader to evaluate, correct, and train subordinates when productivity is not up to the desired level, and reward effectiveness when expected outcome is reached.
For examples of LEADER projects funded in the 2007-2013 programme check out our Case Studies section and ten Case Studies from across Scotland and Europe highlighted at the Scottish LEADER Conference 2014.
4. Leadership transitions. Going from individual contributor to supervisor is only the first of many transitions along the leadership pipeline. You need to understand the business model, how it applies to your current position, what you need to do to provide the greatest value, and how to leverage your strengths at this level. This requires building competencies and focusing on the right things. No one ever tells you that there are many levels and many adjustments you need to make along the way.
This is critical because the longer you or an employee withholds key information, the more it hurts your organization. It prevents you from building trust and an open environment that will develop your team. You’ll earn credibility when you are open to feedback and work toward making changes to fix issues as they arise.