Often, leaders make snap decisions based on automated responses. These are developed predominantly through experience. While these responses may often be well informed, such a leadership style isn’t. It produces a hierarchical, autocratic leadership style that discards collaboration and fails to achieve the benefits of flattened management hierarchies.
These benefits include:
- Faster decision-making
- Clearer communication
- Cost efficiency
- A more engaged workforce
In this article, we discuss an inventory of five leadership practices which will evolve and inform your leadership style. If you practice these, you will first disrupt your own auto-responses before embedding a new culture that will engage and enthuse your team to reach new heights of achievement.
Why you need to disrupt yourself as well as your team
Disrupting automatic responses leads to better decision-making, removing impulse reactions that cloud unbiased judgement. By suspending your auto-responses, you generate alternative scenarios, enable freethinking, and, instead of leading by autocracy, you encourage people to participate in the decision-making process. They become the owners of new policies, procedures and processes. Energize your employees and your team’s performance will become supercharged.
The leadership practices inventory of the disruptive leader
There are five practices that the inspirational leader can do to disrupt, influence, and encourage. The process starts with self-awareness, and flows through to creating a culture of transformational change in which employees are fully engaged in the strategy of the business.
1. Become more self-aware
Self-awareness is the foundation of understanding and changing your auto-responses. To change others, you must be willing to change yourself. Your actions impact the decisions and actions of others. Leaders who have taken a leadership-style assessment build self-awareness faster. They become more adept at listening to others, and this leads to better and more accepted ideation. This self-awareness also informs their own personal development, enabling both professional and personal growth.
2. Define your purpose
This step is about defining your own purpose, and allowing it to be the catalyst in your professional and personal life. Within your professional life, your values will help others align with you, creating a common sense of purpose to drive individuals and the team. Clarity of communication is key here.
3. Be a model of consistency with values
Reinforce the cultural shift by being a consistent and constant example of organizational values and required behaviors. Reflect a culture of collaborative leadership, enabling others to participate as the team begins making joint decisions. Be a leader, not a dictator. Influence people in their own decisions, encouraging them to ensure that their actions are in line with organizational values and beliefs. Hire people for how they do things rather than what they do.
4. Recognize your people and help them to grow
Recognize that your people are valuable. They have expectations, fears and aspirations. Help them allay their fears and achieve their aspirations. Invest your time in your people, and commit resource to helping them increase their own abilities. Provide opportunities for training, coaching, and new supervisory positions in project work. Your desire to see each one of your team deliver on their personal promise will engage them in their own future as well as the transformation of the team.
5. Create a culture of transformational change
Every day, exhibit the characteristics of transformation leadership:
- Be visionary and passionate
- Be enthusiastic and energetic
- Care for those for whom you are responsible
The way that you approach leadership will define you in the eyes of your people. Anyone can be called a leader, but it is not the title that inspires a team to greatness. It is the connection that the leader has with his or her team members, how well they are engaged, and how supported they feel. And this all begins with the leader acquiring a high level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
Our Executive and Leadership Coaching programs are designed to develop executive capabilities, building across these essential leadership behaviors:
- Emotional intelligence
- Listening skills
- Negotiation skills
Contact Forward Focus today to discover more about our leadership coaching programs.