True leaders aspire to leadership excellence. We desire to have a great impact on people’s lives. We want to benefit our organization and the mission we serve. The challenge is that the context in which we lead is extremely complex. Leaders face many demands from many directions. At the same time, becoming an excellent leader is a challenge of its own. Very few leaders have had mentoring or formal training! How do we reconcile these competing demands?
Here is the solution: 5 easy steps to developing leadership excellence.
Always hire top talent. Look for people who are already at the top of their game so that you don’t have to invest time and effort in their development. This makes professional development and succession management work unnecessary, thus saving the organization tremendous effort and sums of money.
Make goal setting easy by providing a prescribed list of goals for your team members. Tell them they don’t need to develop their own goals. “Just use this list. It’s the senior executive team’s goals.” This is easier on the employees as well as senior leaders who will not have to go through the time-wasting work to approve and develop employee goals.
Post your vision, mission, and values on posters in the lobby. When employees walk through the lobby every day, they’ll “catch” these critical elements and internalize them. No other communication will be necessary.
Create employee engagement with this 4-point strategy: Make a list that contains just four bits of data for each person on your team: birthday, favorite sports team or entertainer, kids’ names, and work anniversary. Say “Happy birthday” once a year. Ask about their team once during the season or when their entertainer is in town. Ask how their kids are a couple times a year. Say “Happy anniversary” once a year. These four things will ensure that they feel you care and know them deeply.
Simplify conflict resolution. Tell them, “When you have a conflict with a coworker, just send me an email describing the situation.” In most cases, you won’t have to do anything further because the cathartic effect of the email will help your employee. This enables the employee to focus on their work and avoids the messiness of coaching coworkers to work out challenges with one another.
Do the above and you’ll find that your leadership star will go places you never planned for.
This is inspired by a recent post from Tim Challies, a satirical discussion of “How to Be a Good Christian With Minimal Effort.” My post, too, is satirical. Leaders young and old know that growth and excellence in leadership is a daily challenge and never easy. We should be investing as much effort and strategic planning into leading as we do the subject of our organizational leadership.
Dr. Scott Yorkovich is a leadership coach and consultant. He works with individuals, small and medium organizations, and ministries. Contact him at ScottYorkovich[at]LeadStrategic.com with your questions.