To succeed in a post-pandemic world, today’s professionals must be A.G.I.L.E. in their leadership. Beyond Limits Initiative Founder & Forbes Council Member, Juliet Ehimuan, describes this ‘responsive and adaptable’ leadership style as imperative for genuine camaraderie and cross-functionality to be entrenched in your organization. Join us as we review Juliet’s timely advice and provide some input of our own:
Presenting yourself as easily and comfortably approachable in a work setting promotes inclusion and diversity and puts people at ease in their communication. Becoming approachable is not achieved simply by extending an open-door policy or by being friendly in the office. To be an approachable leader, you must first master the art of listening and meet them at their level. Let your colleagues know you are invested in what they have to say by asking lots of questions and not attempting to multitask in the process. Understand that whenever they vent to you, it does not mean they are awaiting a solution. Many leaders choose to remain closed off in their approach, but choosing to be accessible and attentive is fundamental in great leadership.
With the chaos that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, people are looking to their leaders and management team to provide stability now more than ever. The demand of a true leader encompasses holding your ground through trying times (not just when it is easy). Has your recent decision-making been in alignment with your organizational goals and purpose? Staying balanced and realistic is critical to portraying both authentic and confident leadership. Through difficult times and high-stress situations, you can illustrate sound guidance by choosing to be proactive rather than reactive.
While worry and tension are often imminent, holding tight to your vision and staying flexible to get there is imperative to maintaining strong leadership through uncertainty. Choosing to ‘trust your gut’ is often the intuitive route taken by today’s great leaders, but sometimes that intuition involves taking advice from a co-worker! Not every decision will be the right one, but staying accountable as a leader can quickly diffuse any consequences and setbacks that arise.
Successful leaders recognize the importance of “brave new thinking,” says Ehimuan, by “challenging existing norms and assumptions, finding more cost-effective ways of doing business and exploring alternative supply chain management models or new customer channels.” In short, seek new perspectives from your team and new ways to use your employee’s unique skill sets.
When you become a more collaborative unit, you are making a path for your team’s creativity to bolster innovations. While mistakes are still likely to occur, the miscalculations and risks you take will be more fruitful in your development. Exploring this insight will provide new inventive solutions to your company and enhance the individual’s personal growth. Without an innovative mindset and contributions from your team, your competitors will certainly pass you by.
“Successful people do not think outside the box. Successful people just make a bigger box.” -CC Sales Pro.
COVID-19 brought a new, emphasized meaning to the phrase “Do more with less.” Large corporations, small businesses, stores, and restaurants across the country all took on the challenges of downsizing and limiting their budget. Additionally, they needed to adjust to new safety protocols and travel restrictions. As a result, this spotlighted the innovative thinkers and the new ways to leverage technology resources to upkeep their brand.
Leveraging your resources and relevant data requires thorough research and levelheadedness. With the support of your team, you must stay open to strategic consultation and quick to act. Being a ‘leverager’ is not to say ‘take advantage of your relationships with people,’ but to tap into the resourceful, authentic relationships of people you believe in. When you have laid the groundwork and have genuine connections within your industry, the relationships will leverage themselves.
Furthermore, you should never attempt to leverage skills or assets you do not have, as the misrepresentation can dramatically impact your reputation. Instead, build awareness of your team’s skill-sets and the confidence they have in their respective crafts.
The employees remain the backbone of any organization. Showing that you value their happiness will have a tremendous impact on your company’s overall productivity. Exhibiting empathy and compassion to your team will let them know they can trust you with the bad news as much as the good news. Creating this bond goes a long way in developing healthy relationships and unity. Over time, they will be more inclined to share new information with you because of your ethical approach.
Remember that you are not the only one experiencing new challenges. Provide an outlet for their problems, and you will prevent employee burnout and limit stress takeover. In your nurturing maturation, you will develop an incorruptible loyalty that is supplemented with respect. To continue this growth, seek honest and open feedback from your colleagues and accept it with gratitude rather than disdain.
Staying A.G.I.L.E. in leadership is not exceedingly difficult to achieve but takes quite a bit of effort and intentionality. When you are approachable, you enable yourself to receive valuable criticism and developing trust. In addition to being an active listener, being an active learner keeps you open to new perspectives and shifts your work culture into a collaborative, unified group. Keeping yourself focused on these five leadership behaviors will produce a high-performing team despite any additional ‘curveballs’ that will be thrown your way.