The Changing Roles of High-Performance Leaders
Good Leadership Is Dynamic
As you sat down to set your company’s goals, you probably considered many different things affecting your business. For example, evolving markets and globalization, dynamic talent needs, and new technologies, but, did you think about how your changing business also needs new leadership models to stay competitive? One thing is obvious – our evolving businesses and growing teams need leaders who are developing with them. Here are some changing roles leaders need to embrace to survive and thrive in the coming years.
Emotional Intelligence, Passionate Leaders and Effective Teams
New research from Yale University published this month shows a secure link between emotional intelligence and increased creativity in teams (Read more here). Emotional intelligence is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others and use that information to guide their thinking and behavior, often in real-time. It means adapting to your audiences and environments, managing emotions in response to crucial situations, and communicating effectively with individuals and teams. Strong empathy is typically associated with emotional intelligence – the ability to connect your own experiences with those of others. Passionate leaders must understand and implement emotional intelligence and psychological safety.
According to these Yale researchers, good managers are skilled at reading the emotions of team members. They can identify when someone is worried or concerned. Not only do they identify the issue, but they also acknowledge it and help their employees channel their emotions towards something positive and aligned with the goals of the team. As a result, these managers often inspire loyalty and enthusiasm among their teams. They are optimistic, good communicators, and model excellent leadership skills. These leaders are empathetic. They understand through their own experiences that the decisions of the manager effects each team member differently.
Leaders With High Emotional Intelligence Is Not Optional
Understanding and using emotional intelligence is just one skill that has dramatically changed business leadership over the past few years. Appreciating and strengthening this skill set has led managers to discover the benefits of cultivating strong teams, identifying their areas for improvement, and working to eliminate barriers to teamwork and leadership success.
Once you understand how essential it is to create an environment where teams are valued, challenged, and allowed to succeed, you are well on your way to creating a culture of high-performance leadership. By identifying and supporting each team members’ skills and weaknesses, building healthy communication and feedback channels, measuring your team’s success, and celebrating wins, you are helping your staff become better employees and team members themselves. A leader’s critical role must be to guide their team to success successfully. Here’s a refresher on some of the key ways to do this:
DEVELOPING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE TEAM
To create strong teams, you must clearly define its structure. You must set clear goals and boundaries and provide ample opportunity for questions and feedback. It would be best if you worked to identify individual skills and weaknesses, offer opportunities that challenge team members in new areas and strengthen their current skills, and be willing to lead from the front to earn respect from the team.
One of the essential qualities of a strong leader is communication. What’s changing is the delivery methods. While well-structured meetings may still offer the most one-on-one time you have with team members, additional communication channels, including Slack or other internal communication tools, all provide new ways to keep in touch. They also offer ways to miscommunicate or over-communicate.
Good leaders understand emerging technologies and integrate them to support their teams, but they’re not afraid to collect and respond to feedback, and they make changes when needed. Let your team evaluate new technologies and ensure you listen to their feedback – and identify which communication methods work best for which team members.
Problem-solving is critical for teamwork. Employees are more highly motivated and build stronger teams when they are given the opportunity to solve challenging problems together. Evolving leaders understand that creativity is stifled with too many rules and processes – and that teams that are given the flexibility to address complex issues on their own can come up with some fantastic solutions. Great ideas come from supporting the diversity of a team – using the unique strengths of its members to tackle issues in new ways. Teamwork can be extraordinarily productive and exciting when everyone works together towards a common cause.
Dynamic leaders are not afraid to change the procedures, processes, and structures of an organization to support its high-performing teams. What works best for one team might not work for another. As teams work together and learn from one another, they will discover new ways to solve problems. Good leaders provide reliable ways to measure improvement, collect and respond to feedback, and evolve procedures to best support the organization and its members.