Setting the Leadership Agenda
Let’s imagine the following case; Dave has been building his successful career for 15 years. He started as a petroleum engineer and climbed the corporate ladder to a C-Suite position, where he is currently responsible for global product development. In his organization, he is called “the Siberian Express” due to his ability to get things done while exceeding expectations. However, he has been building a career where he pushed his team to the limits and sometimes with a lack of “personal touch” to understand his team aspirations and motivations. Nevertheless, in his professional career, like many organizations, including well-known corporations, allowed him to behave the way he wanted in order to accomplish goals and support long-term growth. Furthermore, he is very skillful in building relationships and has the ability to manage office politics making him an important piece in strategy execution even though it is very clear his lack of people skills.
The case described above is it familiar to you? How can we help Dave to be a leader who can conquer hearts and minds across the organization while creating empathy, building trust and credibility with his team? Can he change and show a different leadership style?
The case described above is very common in business settings throughout different parts of the world and in different levels of management. Sometimes organizations are scared to let critical executive talent go due to their ability to deliver results and the knowledge they possess. The problem is that accepting these “non-team” leader behaviors would affect the company culture in the long run and at a certain point the execution of the company’s strategy, considering that people are responsible to implement it.
Making the Different as a Team Leader
A leader who inspires others and leads by the example while engaging teams, and encouraging to celebrate success together, creates sustainable businesses. It brings value to customers and engages employees to be inspired to deliver results, not just for a paycheck instead for the contribution that they are making the organization.
Be a leader who cares first about on how the people and the organization are going to be affected by a major change before the project planning execution itself. Be a leader that transforms business and creates an employee branding anywhere you go. We are all humans with hearts and feelings and deserve to be treated fairly in the workplace.
Conquering Hearts & Minds
Conquering hearts and minds in any organization is about engaging teams to be more productive and pull to the same direction, so they can feel that their work has value in the company strategy. Leaders play a critical role on how to increase engagement levels by promoting collaboration, teamwork, and flexible work schedules to let each member of their teams be more creative. Empowering them to be responsible for specific tasks and/or projects so they can be accountable for the results.
What I described above is called “Engagement Intelligence”, conquering hearts and minds by making people feel great about themselves, supporting skill development while sponsoring people’s career success and providing candid feedback when is necessary.
Every leader has the responsibility to get to know their teams to serve and assist in team development. Details count!. Do you remember the birthday of each member of your team? Do you know the name of their kids and what they are passionate about in their free times? Keep in mind that as a people manager you will deliver results through them and currently with generations at work and the technology in organizations, people prefer to work in a work environment where they feel engaged and passionate about the culture, growth opportunities and trust in leadership. Bully bosses and/or the ones that only care just about their self (use their teams to climb the corporate ladder) need to evolve and disappear like the Dinosaurs did a thousand years ago. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about your team.
Someone might say but no one has been trained to be a “People Manager”! That’s why is critical to create development programs such as leaders academy, managing with purpose, first time managers, leadership accelerating programs, leadership style assessment, HIPO’s career booster that helps individuals like Dave to be a great business leader with a “Human Chip” to improve the bottom line. The CEO, C-Suite executives, and HR are responsible to address cases like the one described today to make managers transformational leaders who can transform organizations and touch people lives. Keep in mind that when people are engaged in their roles and feel a deep connection with the organization, they tend to deliver outstanding performance. Hence conquering hearts and minds creates satisfied customers, and ultimately, value to shareholders.
Finally, I finish this article with the following question: What’s is your purpose as a leader? Remember to be a leader, not a boss. Differentiate yourself.
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Albert Loyola is Managing Partner with Ignite Organizations, a talent and organization consulting firm. He serves as a trusted advisor to leadership teams on future workforce strategy, HR technology capabilities and integrated talent and HR solutions, he enables clients to address their future workforce needs and lead change in the face of digital transformation.
Albert is a People Technology Advisor & Speaker on the Future of Work, Employee Experience, Design Thinking and Artificial Intelligence in HR. His work has been featured on different business and HR tech magazines. Albert holds a Master Degree from Cornell University, in Human Resources
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